Agencies Propose Chemical Treatment to Eradicate Nonnative Fish in Bonita Creek

Media Contact: Patricia Cox , (623) 773-6214
John McGlothlen , (623) 773-6256

For Release: December 14, 2010

The Bureau of Reclamation, in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Arizona Game and Fish Department, proposes to reapply a piscicide, known as rotenone, to a 1.7-mile segment of lower Bonita Creek to remove nonnative fish that pose a threat to five species of federally listed fish. Bonita Creek lies within the BLM-administered Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area, approximately 12 miles northeast of Safford, Ariz.

In 2007, Reclamation released an Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate a native fish restoration project that involved the construction of a fish barrier, application of rotenone, and reintroduction of several species of federally listed fish in lower Bonita Creek. The project was implemented in late 2008. In 2009, three species of nonnative fish were again detected in lower Bonita Creek. Biologists believe the continued persistence of these nonnative fish may jeopardize the existing native fish assemblage in Bonita Creek.

Reclamation has prepared a Revised Supplement to the 2007 EA to examine the environmental consequences of the proposed reapplication of rotenone in lower Bonita Creek. Based upon the Revised Supplement to the EA, Reclamation has made a preliminary determination that a Finding of No Significant Impact is appropriate for this proposed action, and an environmental impact statement is not required. However, no final decision will be made until all comments from the public are fully considered.

A copy of the Revised Supplement can be obtained by calling Reclamation's Environmental Resource Management Division at (623) 773-6251, by e-mailing, or by downloading it from the Phoenix Area Office website at

Comments should be mailed to John McGlothlen at the Bureau of Reclamation, Phoenix Area Office, PXAO-1500, 6150 West Thunderbird Rd., Glendale, AZ. 85306-4001or faxed to (623) 773-6481, no later than January 10, 2011. Questions may be directed to Mr. McGlothlen at (623) 773-6256.

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