An important goal towards the eventual placement of sterile grass carp in Devils Lake this season was achieved as the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission met in Portland Friday February 17th. The Devils Lake Water Improvement District along with State Representative David Gomberg and the Devils Lake Neighborhood Association (DNLA) have been working with ODFW staff on required administrative rule changes to be presented to the Fish and Wildlife Commission. and we were on the agenda. In short, the Commissioners unanimously approved the rule changes presented by ODFW staff. This clears the way for ODFW to finalize the DLWID Grass Carp Application currently on file.
The Devils Lake Water Improvement District (DLWID) has considered a range of management tools to control the weeds, including a mechanical harvester, herbicides, and restocking of grass carp. Grass carp were last used in the lake in the 1990s. These vegetation management efforts will ensure visitors can continue to enjoy the Lake for years to come. Grass carp work well, cost less, and don't add chemicals to our water. The problem is that they are an invasive species that can quickly impact the health of our rivers and lakes if they escape and breed. Because of this, ODFW requires anyone using grass carp to obtain a permit which includes the requirement that the carp be sterile.
The timing is ideal as spring is the best time to introduce fish to our coastal waters. Come summer, more than 10,000 weed-eating carp will be added to Devils Lake. Once approved the District will purchase the fish from the approved vendor who will place PIT tags into the nose of each fish. The initial order will be shipped across the country and placed directly in our lake. We will keep you posted on each of these developments in real time. Also coming this year is Round 2 of weed harvesting on Devils Lake. A small committee has been formed and will soon be meeting to work out the details for the 2023 season.