First phase complete in eradication of smallmouth bass from Miramichi waters: group

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FREDERICTON — A New Brunswick group says it has completed the first phase of a chemical treatment aimed at eradicating an invasive fish species from the Miramichi watershed.

A news release today from the Working Group on Smallmouth Bass Eradication says the chemical rotenone was used last Thursday to kill the fish in Lake Brook and in about 15 kilometres of the Southwest Miramichi River.

It says the application of the chemical took about six hours and was limited to the area where smallmouth bass are known to be present.

Local cottagers had opposed the operation, warning that rotenone would kill all fish in the lake and prevent them from enjoying the waters for swimming or fishing.

The working group says smallmouth bass can alter ecosystems by preying on native species such as Atlantic salmon and brook trout.

The next phase of the operation, the date of which was not disclosed, will involve releasing rotenone simultaneously in Lake Brook, in the 15-kilometre stretch of the river and in Miramichi Lake, where the group says an established bass population continues to threaten the ecosystem.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 12, 2022.

The Canadian Press