Indian Lake gets carp removal treatment

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Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 --- 5:00 p.m

Indian Lake in Dane County may be frozen solid now, but during the warmer seasons, Indian lake has a greenish, pea soup quality. According to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Representative Bob Manwell, the culprits of the hue are the common carp and a phenomenon called "winterkill."

"Carp, through their feeding habits have also destroyed or degraded the water quality because of the way they feed, they uproot the aquatic vegetation and that leads to algae blooms which further degrade the water," said Manwell.

Manwell says the icy weather doesn't help the situation either. Frozen water leads to oxygen deprivation, killing all but the common carp.
The WI DNR set out Tuesday, to fix that problem with a Rotenone treatment.

Rotenone is a naturally occurring toxin for fish, according to Manwell. It is harmless to humans and other animals such as reptiles and shellfish. They will inject Rotenone into the lake through holes that the crew drills around the frozen lake, in the hopes of suffocating the common carp.

"The fish will die underneath the ice and the ice will stay long enough so the bodies will decompose and people will never notice them," said David Rowe, a fisheries expert.

The decomposing bodies will then serve as nutrients for helpful aquatic plants. With better water quality, park representatives can restock the lake with more popular fishing choices like the Bluegill.

The Dane County Parks representative, says he has high hopes.
"Hopefully come this spring with the restocking, and moving forward we're going to have a great resource here for the public to use," said Darren Marsh.

DNR representatives say they're hopeful that Indian lake will be fully restored within two years.

Rowe has visions for the lake.
"[we want it] human swimmable, boatable, we want people out there in kayaks, we want people to just go out there and enjoy their natural resources," said Rowe.

Three organizations, the Indian Lake County Park, the Department of Natural Resources and the Dane County Parks department are working to restore the lake and remove the carp. They will test the waters to see if the Rotenone took affect, on Friday.