The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is proposing to chemically eradicate existing fish populations in Danzig Dam and the Storm Creek watershed in Morton County.
Aquatic habitat supervisor Scott Elstad said Danzig Dam was recently drawn down to install a water control structure and complete shore enhancement projects. The lake has a history of fish kills and the water control structure should help prevent significant winter kills.
“Fish populations are currently dominated by carp and bullhead, which create a problem for fish management,” Elstad said. “It is a good time to attempt a chemical eradication while the lake is drawn down.”
If the existing fish population was eliminated, Elstad said newly stocked fish would not have to compete for food, or be eaten by bullhead. “These fish would get established quicker, and a decent sport fishery could be established in just a few years versus maybe decades,” he said.
Eradicating fish populations is costly and time consuming. The chemical used is rotenone and is not harmful to animals at application concentrations. At the time of application and until the reservoir refills the drawdown valve would be closed to prevent fish kills downstream.
The eradication would take place sometime before September. Restocking with northern pike and perch will begin in 2014.
Game and Fish is accepting comments on the project until July 19. Comments should be directed to southwest district fisheries supervisor Jeff Hendrickson in Dickinson at (701) 290-1365, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.