WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY


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Grass Carp to the Rescue of Devil’s Lake?

Grass Carp Wiki photo

Grass Carp
Wiki photo

Provided by Devil’s Lake Water Improvement District

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District (DLWID) will be making its case in front of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission October 4th for a rule change to allow the restocking of sterile grass carp in Devils Lake for vegetation management.

The OFW Commission meets beginning at 8 am on October 4, 2013 at the Hallmark Inn in Newport.

The DLWID has been offered three – five minute slots in the Public Forum portion of the Commissions Agenda which will be near the beginning of the meeting. Speaking on behalf of the District will be Lake Manager, Paul Robertson, Joe Eilers of MaxDepth Aquatics, and DLWID’s Chair, Brian Green. The general public is invited to attend.

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Restocking of grass carp is a vital component of the Devils Lake Plan, the watershed management plan adopted by DLWID in 2011. This plan seeks to secure the right to serially restock grass carp to maintain the beneficial uses of the lake gained through the first two sets of previously approved stockings. However, rule changes since the last stocking currently prevent the District from continuing this proven, economically affordable means of vegetation control. Should the grass carp not be able to be stocked and vegetation again take over the lake as in the 1980’s, (see photos) a recent economic study suggest that significant impacts would be expected with regards to devaluation of real estate and decreased tourism. Ongoing vegetation management is needed to avert this economic impact.

The role of the grass carp in maintaining Devils Lake as a community asset is certainly one important aspect of the Devils Lake Plan, but is not the dominant focus. Most of the District’s efforts are directed at nutrient reduction in the form of sewers, septic tank inspections, and shoreline restoration. These watershed based solutions however will take time to show the benefit, and as such the short –term solution to keeping Devils Lake viable for the majority of the public lies in a limited, sensible restocking of these sterile fish.

For more information on how to support the grass carp and other parts of the Devils Lake Plan, please contact Paul Robertson at 541-994-5330 or lake.manager@dlwid.org.

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