Earlier this year we had the fight to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes by ending the Chicago diversion that artificially connects Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River system. Now the Asian carp’s little brother is assaulting Mann Lake in Eastern Oregon.
According to an Associated Press article, biologists with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife are pondering a plan to poison Mann Lake, in the hope of ridding the lake of invasive goldfish.
The first step requires volunteers to catch trout, in the hope that the trout can be restocked after poisoning the lake with the chemical rotenone, which kills fish by interfering with cellular use of oxygen.
Mann Lake, at the base of Steens Mountain, has a long history as a well-known trout fishery. Scientists believe that in 2001 live goldfish were somehow deposited in the lake, perhaps used for bait, and reproduced. Fishermen now catch goldfish up to 13 inches long, and the trout population has experienced a decline.
To answer the question we know is on your mind, yes, there is an overall U.S. IGFA record for goldfish (Carassius auratus auratus) from 2002: 9 lbs. 6 oz. (4.26 kgs), out of Lindo Lakes, California. No fly rod record. Yet.
That said, I’d much prefer rainbow trout as an invasive species.