DNR treats Appleton pond, eliminating invasive species

Appleton's Memorial Park Pond invasive species treatment Tuesday, Januaury 9, 2017. (WLUK/Pafoua Yang)

APPLETON, Wis. (WLUK) -- About 45 holes were drilled into the Appleton's ice-covered Memorial Park Pond Tuesday morning.

"We're working to basically reset the table here at the pond," said Adam Nickel, a fisheries biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The DNR wants to kill carp, an invasive species, by applying five gallons of chemical into the drilled holes.

"What we're working to do right now is apply rotenone, which is an organic material from roots of tropical plants," explained Nickel.

Nickel said rotenone won't leave any toxicity behind. Although the chemical will kill other fish in addition to the carp, Nickel said it's not harmful to birds or mammals.

The fish will go to the bottom, decompose and provide water nutrients.

Carp were found in the fishing pond several years ago. How they got there is unknown.

"What carp do is they tear up the vegetation and cause turbidity and that basically, doesn't really help out the desirable fish like pan fish and fish like bluegill and bass," Nickel said.

The turbid or cloudy water limits sunlight for plants. Once the plants are gone, fish don't survive well.

"After the treatment, we'll come back and stock trout and then hopefully later in the summer, we'll get pan and bass fish back out here," Nickel said.

It's not the first time the DNR will be stocking fish in the pond. The agency does it every spring to give youth and disabled anglers an opportunity to enjoy some good fishing.

Nickel told FOX 11, "It's not about the size of the fish here, it doesn't have to be an 8- to 10-inch bluegill; they just want to get out and catch fish."

The DNR is hopeful to see the water quality back up, reminding people to keep invasive species out.

The chemical treatment cost less than $2,000.

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