Environment

Lake Davis to fill again, nearly a decade after chemicals were used to kill invasive fish

In this 2002 file photo, a state biologist examines a dead northern pike after explosives were used in Lake Davis to explore how to eradicate the nonnative fish. Nearly 10 years after chemicals were last used in the lake to kill the fish, the state is allowing the reservior to fill again.
In this 2002 file photo, a state biologist examines a dead northern pike after explosives were used in Lake Davis to explore how to eradicate the nonnative fish. Nearly 10 years after chemicals were last used in the lake to kill the fish, the state is allowing the reservior to fill again. Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

Nearly a decade after state officials last dumped chemicals into a Plumas County lake to kill off nonnative predatory fish, state water regulators are going to allow the reservoir to fill to the brim this winter.

The Department of Water Resources lowered Lake Davis near Portola in the 1990s to prevent storms from washing predatory northern pike into the waterways below the dam and begin killing native fish.

In 2007, state fisheries officials used a chemical in the 84,000-acre-foot reservoir to kill the fish. The lake was kept low in the following years as a precaution. A similar chemical treatment was conducted in 1997, but the pike were again found in the reservoir two years later.

The reservoir is formed by Grizzly Valley Dam on Big Grizzly Creek, a tributary of the middle fork of the Feather River. Lake Davis provides drinking water to the nearby city of Portola.

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