Two weeks ago, the Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism along with K-State lowered the lake’s water level and mixed nine gallons of Rotenone, a natural occurring chemical into the lake.
This was to get rid of gizzard shad, a smaller fish that can hurt the populations of bigger ones.
“They eat food but they don’t provide food, so they’re eating a lot of the food that the sport fish need to grow,” said Fisheries Research Biologist for KDWPT Ben Neely.
Brian Hall and his dog, Chief like to walk around the the Shawnee State Fishing Lake. Recently he spotted dead fish along the shore.
“I noticed a couple of carp, then I noticed a really large carp,” Brian said.
Brian has been going to the lake his whole life and has fished their many times, so he wanted to find out the cause.
“I saw something I couldn’t explain, so I contacted Wildlife and Parks.”
The dead fish larger than gizzard shad could have come from hot spots from the chemical. Even though they tried to make sure the chemical mixed into the lake evenly, hot spots can occur underwater.
Neely said if you don’t have gills, you won’t be affected.
“It’s specific to fish, it interrupts the way the fish process oxygen from the water, so it’s not dangerous to humans or anything air-breathing.”
Neosho, Washington, and Pottowatomie State Fishing lakes were also treated to lessen invasive populations, but the problem could still persist.
“We go into it thinking, it could be a five to seven year Band-Aid, but with the hope it’s going to be a longtime permanent fix,” said Neely.