Why does Fish and Game Continue to spend the time and resources on the invasive perch problem at Lost Valley Reservoir? Wouldn't it be more productive at this point to try a different tactic? They have been trying to drain and poison it for far to long with the same results. There used to be a few wild trout upstream but in the last few years I have not seen anything at all.
I suggest at this point,and I am sure many others would agree, that a few tiger muskie (being a sterile fish and unable to repopulate), may be more productive. The muskie would thin out the perch,making them grow larger and thus taking the misfortune of this unwanted fish due to its over population and being illegally planted to begin with,and making something good of it. The trout would then in turn have a chance to thrive as well.
Is there a chance Fish And Game would consider this?
Thanks for your inquiry. IDFG has never drained Lost Valley Reservoir; we have worked with the Irrigation Company on years that water use was high and the resulting reservoir carryover was going to be small, to use that opportunity to apply a piscicide to try and remove the yellow perch. It is a frustrating situation with the reservoir and the yellow perch population. We have looked at using the Tiger Muskie as a control method and have chosen not to do so. A "few" tiger muskie would not impact the population size or individual size of the yellow perch. With the water volume change that the reservoir undergoes annually, due to delivery of irrigation releases, any species placed in the reservoir is also going to be released. Releasing a new fish species in any drainage is something we are very thoughtful about. Although Tiger Muskies are sterile, they are also long lived, prefer soft rayed fish over spinney rayed fish species, and can persist for a long time on a starvation diet. These Tiger Muskie attributes have been learned over that past decade or so and lead to a more cautious approach as to where this species is introduced.
Likely what you are seeing upsteam of the reservoir is that the sterile rainbow trout that are used now in the state do not migrate very much and are not using the inlet stream. There are still brookies present in those streams.
What we are now doing is using a larger stocked trout at 12 inches versus the 10 inch stocked trout of the past. These larger trout return well to the angler and hopefully will satisfy anglers even when we have yellow perch around.
We will likely use piscicides when yellow perch levels become overwhelming.