Friday, April 5, 2013

Corps of Engineers and Fish & Game sponsor educational evening

By Bruce Henrickson, Public Affairs Specialist, USACE Walla Walla District

About 35 people attended the Idaho Fish and Game Open House on Wednesday evening, March 27, at the Best Western Lodge at River's Edge. The purpose was to update the public and answer any questions about the Corps-IDFG partnership effort to improve Dworshak Reservoir ecosystem's health by adding nutrients in the form of fertilizer.

The Corps has all necessary permissions from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to add fertilizer as a nutrient. Improvements seen in the past year include increases in zooplankton size, which is part of the fishery food chain, and the data is showing a relationship between fertilizer additions and decreases in Anabeana Blue-Green algae. We also met all water quality standards and had better water clarity than all previous years during the project.

More interested fishermen came that had heard of the project in previous years, but had not participated in any of the discussions with the Corps and Idaho Fish and Game and the Corps. They indicated they were in favor of the project if it helps produce fish like they have been catching last year, and so far this year has been very positive. I also had a number of bass fishermen interested in connections between bass fishing quality, bass size and the project.

The open house has been annual public event in the interest of keeping the public informed of what the Corps is doing to improve the reservoir.

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