City briefed on Soldotna Creek treatment

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is preparing to move forward in the next phase of eradicating northern pike in Kenai Peninsula waters, as the species is invasive to the region.

Fish and Game will begin treating the mainstem of Soldotna Creek with rotenone, a plant-based compound used to kill fish. A breakdown of what that treatment will entail and how long it will take was presented to the Soldotna City Council on Wednesday by Rob Massengill, a fisheries biologist with Fish and Game in Soldotna

The treatment will take place this June over a span of about five days, and again in 2017 so Fish and Game can be sure the pike have been eradicated, Massengill said. Signs will be posted in the area letting residents know about the rotenone presence, though Massengill said it will not be a danger to humans or animals other than the fish.

Fish and Game will use potassium permanganate to neutralize the rotenone before it moves from Soldotna Creek into the Kenai River, though Massengill said it should dilute enough on its own by that point that it won’t be harmful to fish in the river.

Near the end of the meeting, council member Meaggan Bos-Marquez announced she will move out of state this June, leaving her seat open. She said she aimed for a summer departure in order to leave enough notice before of general election in October.

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com.

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