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Walleye on panel's agenda

Hagadone News Network | February 11, 2021 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — The Idaho Lakes Commission will be taking up the matter of Lake Pend Oreille walleye when it meets today.

The panel's discussion is taking place over videoconferencing starting at 10 a.m.

Andy Dux, Idaho Fish and Game's regional fisheries manager, is slated to give a presentation on walleye, which are the subject of a petition drive calling on the department to manage Lake Pend Oreille to support walleye alongside rainbow trout and lake trout.

The state is offering a bounty on walleye in a bid to curb their populations for the benefit of rainbow trout and kokanee. Some contend the threat walleye pose is being overblown and argue that they can be managed as a sport fish without harming rainbow trout populations, as has been done in the Great Lakes.

Officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are also scheduled to provide updates on the Bonneville Power Administration's flexible winter pool operations on Lake Pend Oreille, in addition to corps projects. The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration is slated to provide an update on forecasting, while Darrel Early, a deputy attorney general with the AG's Natural Resources Division, is scheduled to brief the commission on water rights adjudication in the Clark Fork-Pend Oreille basin.

Steve Klatt, director of Bonner County Road & Bridge, is scheduled to update the commission on projects to improve the Outlet Bay Dam at Priest Lake and the Thorofare, the channel connecting Priest Lake with Upper Priest Lake.