Say goodbye to the invasive northern pike that have taken over eight lakes and their connecting streams in the Tote Road area about five miles south of Soldotna. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced this week that it will begin applying the fish-killing pesticide Rotenone in them on Monday (Oct. 8).
In an announcement, the Department notes that Rotenone is safe and cost efficient. In fact, it has been used in numerous lakes around the Central Kenai Peninsula to successfully cleanse them of northern pike.
The chemical treatment kills all fish in the lakes and ponds, and after the pike are dead and the Rotenone has naturally degraded, new native species of fish can be re-introduced.
If next week’s five-day treatment is successful, and that will be determined by surveys in the spring, the Fish and Game could be releasing new fish as soon as next summer. In the Tote Road Lakes area, they include rainbow trout, coho salmon and the three-spine stickleback.
Signs alerting the public that the lakes are being treated will be posted on nearby roads, and access to the lakes will be prohibited while the chemical treatment is being applied.
It is the last system scheduled for the removal of the invasive fish as part of a program that's lasted over a decade.