Lake Cascade Fish Restoration Topic of Public Meetings

Media Contact: Steve Dunn , (208) 334-9844

For Release: July 31, 2003

The Bureau of Reclamation, in conjunction with Idaho Department of Fish and Game, will host three scoping meetings to seek public comment on proposed operational changes at Lake Cascade that would allow IDFG to re-establish the lake's productive yellow perch and trout fisheries.

Three public meetings to receive comments have been scheduled for the following dates and locations:

August 11: American Legion Hall, 105 East Mill Street, Cascade, Idaho. August 12: Idaho Department of Fish and Game, 600 South Walnut, Boise, Idaho. August 13: U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Center, 1805 Highway 16, Emmett, Idaho. Each meeting will begin with a formal presentation about the proposed action starting at 7:00 p.m., followed by an informal open house from 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. Written comments on the proposed project will be accepted through September 12.

Lake Cascade was the most-fished water body in Idaho from the late 1970s through the early 1990s. Since then the perch fishery has vanished and trout fishing has declined significantly. IDFG attributes this to the large numbers of northern pikeminnow and suckers in the lake, which prey on perch and trout and compete with young fish for food.

IDFG has determined that in order to bring back fishing in Lake Cascade the number of pikeminnow and suckers must be significantly reduced. The current proposal is for Reclamation to lower the water elevation of Lake Cascade to the lowest level possible to allow IDFG to remove the undesirable fish and restock the lake with perch and trout. The drafting of the lake for fish removal would be a one-time occurrence. The earliest timeframe for the project would be in 2005.

Because significant environmental effects may occur from drafting the lake, Reclamation will be preparing an Environmental Impact Statement as required by the National Environmental Policy Act. Reclamation is seeking comments from the public to help in identifying issues and concerns to be analyzed in the EIS and to develop a range of alternative operating strategies that would meet IDFG's goal of restoring the fishery.

The meeting facilities are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Please direct requests for sign language interpretation for the hearing impaired, or other auxiliary aids, to Mr. Steve Dunn by August 1, by telephone at (208) 334-9844 or fax (208) 334-9562. TDD users may call (208) 334-9844 by dialing 711 to obtain a toll free TDD relay.

Anyone interested in more information concerning the EIS, or who has information that may be useful in identifying significant environmental issues, may contact Mr. Steve Dunn at telephone (208) 334-9844, or Email

Questions concerning the fishery at Lake Cascade and IDFG's restoration plan should be directed to Mr. Dale Allen at the IDFG McCall office at (208) 634-8137.

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