WOODSTOCK — A little pond with a big fish problem is getting a dose of medicine.

Little Concord Pond, nestled between Bald and Speckled mountains, is a pristine 26-acre body of water. In August, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife began removing invasive fish.

Francis Brautigam, regional fisheries biologist for the department, said the project has been years in the making and is finally coming to an end.

“This was a huge undertaking,” he said. “Mostly because of the location but these projects take a long time with planning and permitting also.”

Little Concord Pond was found to have golden shiners, brown bullhead, white suckers, chain pickerel and rainbow smelt that compete with brook trout, Brautigam said.

MDIFW hopes by killing off the invasive species it can restock the pond in 2012 so it can become a high quality native trout fishery.

Advertisement

The pond was drained 2.5 feet in August and a pesticide called Rotenone was added to the water to kill off fish in the pond. Rotenone is a natural substance produced in the stem and roots of certain tropical plants in the bean family.

The application of Rotenone has been a widely accepted management practice throughout the United States since the 1930s, Brautigam said.

Some concerns about Rotenone were expressed from those who enjoy the area, including Jenna Martini, who grew up camping and swimming on Little Concord Pond.

Martini, who has a bachelor’s degree in biology and is currently in medical school, took issue with the use of the pesticide and the link between Rotenone and Parkinson’s disease.

“I’d like to know if this poisoning of my dearest place to swim is scientifically vetted, or if it is just someone mindlessly ruining our ecosystem,” she said.

In 2011, a U.S. National Institutes of Health study showed a link between Rotenone use and Parkinson’s disease in farm workers.

Advertisement

Brautigam said permits through the Department of Environmental Protection required signage be placed in the area advising residents not to swim in or drink from the pond.

“It’s mostly a precautionary thing and once the water clears up the pond will be open again for use,” he said.

Little Concord Pond was part of an early Land for Maine’s Future project and is now managed by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands.

The land around the pond is owned by the Maine Department of Conservation and does not allow vehicle access. Several agencies, including the Sebago Chapter of Trout Unlimited, helped make the project possible.

Brautigam said invasive fish is one of the largest problems facing lakes and ponds in Maine. Currently, 200 reclamations have been completed in Maine.

“It’s definitely a big deal in here,” he said.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: