Poison to be used in two B.C. lakes west of Kelowna after non-native fish species spotted

Windy Lake and Little Windy Lake to be poisoned to remove unwanted non-native perch

  • Aug. 30, 2016 5:00 p.m.
Location of Windy Lake and Little Windy Lake west of Kelowna.

Location of Windy Lake and Little Windy Lake west of Kelowna.

KAMLOOPS, B.C. – British Columbia’s Fish and Wildlife Branch says all the fish in two lakes in the Upper Nicola watershed will have to be killed in order to get rid of an unwanted perch.

Biologist Steve Maricle says perch were spotted earlier this year in Windy Lake and Little Windy Lake, both about 50 kilometres northwest of West Kelowna.

Perch are not native to the lakes or the Nicola watershed and biologists say the rapidly breeding species competes for food with native fish and has the potential to wipe them out.

Maricle says barriers will be set up on waterways leading in and out of the lakes to contain the perch this year.

Rotenone, a poison lethal to fish but with limited effect on other animals such as frogs or waterfowl, will then be used to kill all fish in both lakes.

The lakes will be restocked once the perch have been removed, but Maricle says it will be next year at the earliest before any action is taken.

“It’s just the logistics of all the permitting that’s required to get the product, the rotenone, that we use to treat the lake. To get all the permitting in place to get (the rotenone) in, there’s no way we could jump on it this year.”

The Fish and Wildlife Branch believes visitors to Windy Lake and Little Windy Lake intentionally introduced the perch into the water. (CHNL)

The Canadian Press