Oregon Wildlife Managers Bet on Tiger Trout to Remove Invasive Species

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to fight fish with fish in Southern Oregon.

To try and combat the exponential growth of Tui Chub, an invasive species, the department will introduce 25,000 tiger trout to Douglass County’s Diamond Lake, near Roseburg, according to the Mail Tribune.

The hope is that the tiger trout will exterminate the chub, which has not been found in the lake since 2006. Fishermen using chub as live bait are thought to be the culprits in introducing the fish to the lake. 

A routine sweep of the lake by a team of biologists last October found only one of the tiny minnows, but the find was enough to lead DFW officials to take drastic measures.

The species over the past decade has grown so exponentially that they eventually became a threat to the lake’s trout population, also the lake’s most popular game fish.

The invasive fish actually destabilized the food chain so much that it caused a massive algae bloom across the entire lake. After several attempts to remove the chub, the DFW eventually decided to chemically treat the lake and eradicate the species entirely.

DFW Umpqua District Fish Biologist Greg Huchko expressed the department’s trouble with the fish.

“This is extremely frustrating when you consider the amount of time and effort put into the restoration of Diamond Lake by so many,” he said based on a press release

Officials do not know how many tui chub are in the lake, but they have decided to err on the side of caution.

The department in the past spent nearly $6 million to remove the species through chemical means. The last infestation by Tui Chub saw a population of more than 90 million.

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