Regional Offices > Laramie Region > Laramie Region News > Saratoga Lake Public Access Area to close for rotenone project

Saratoga Lake Public Access Area to close for rotenone project

September 14, 2022
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Laramie -

Saratoga Lake Public Access Area (PAA) will be closed beginning Sept. 19 for a planned rotenone project to address an illegal yellow perch introduction in Saratoga Lake. The Town of Saratoga Campground will have limited camping spaces available during the closure, but campers will not have access to the lake during the entirety of the project. The rotenone project will kill all of the fish in Saratoga Lake in an effort to remove the yellow perch.

 Weather permitting, the PAA closure will begin on Monday, Sept. 19 and will remain closed for seven days following the completion of the project and after dead fish are cleaned up. It may take several weeks for the rotenone to degrade, and recreationalists and animals should stay out of the water during this period. Fisheries biologists will test the water and will reopen the lake when it is safe to do so. While the PAA may reopen, the lake itself will remain closed until the water is clear of rotenone. Warning signs will remain around the lake until the rotenone is gone. 

Rotenone is a natural product derived from the roots of certain members of the bean family from South America. It has been successfully used by fish managers for decades to remove undesirable fish species in many places. Rotenone works by disrupting oxygen uptake within the cells of gill-breathing organisms. This means that rotenone does not affect organisms without gills. The label name is Rotenone Fish Toxicant Powder and it will be applied at a concentration of 3 parts per million.   

The presence of yellow perch in Saratoga Lake poses a risk to that fishery and to the North Platte River drainage. The fish are likely to disperse downstream to other waters in the watershed – including Seminoe, Pathfinder, Alcova and Gray Reef reservoirs and the Sweetwater and Medicine Bow rivers – where they could damage the sport fisheries and native fish species. Anglers are reminded it is illegal to move live fish from one body of water into another in Wyoming. Penalties for illegally stocking fish could be up to $10,000.

To learn more about this rotenone project, a special webpage has been set up. The website will be updated throughout the project. Anyone with questions can also contact the Laramie Game and Fish office at (307) 745-4046.


- WGFD -

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