Lake renewal planned for Owensboro park

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 2, 2021) — An Owensboro park lake whose fish populations are being adversely affected by overwhelming numbers of rough fish will start with a clean slate this month.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, with approval from Owensboro city government, is undertaking fisheries management actions in late September at Waymond Morris Park Lake to improve public fishing opportunities there.

Department personnel will live-capture and save as many existing bass and catfish as possible for immediate relocation to other public waters. Staff will then use rotenone treatment to eliminate the rough fish, including buffalo, river carp suckers, bowfin, gar and gizzard shad. Finally, desirable sport fish species, including bass, catfish, sunfish and trout, will be stocked at appropriate times to ensure balanced and healthy fish populations are restored to the lake.

Rotenone is an organic substance derived from plants. Fisheries professionals nationwide have safely used it for decades. Rotenone degrades within days of its application and poses no threats to people. Properly licensed Fish and Wildlife personnel will apply the treatment.

As a precautionary measure, the lake will remain closed to anglers and pets during the rotenone application period. The area around the lake will be clearly marked with signage during and after the application period until cleanup is complete. All affected fish will be removed after treatment and properly disposed. People should not eat any dead fish taken from the treated water.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife will restock the lake with desirable fish species to bring it back into balance and increase angling opportunities. The department also plans to resume its trout stocking in the lake in mid to late October. It will likely take a couple years to fully re-establish the bass and sunfish populations, but in the long-term, anglers should see an improvement in angling opportunities.

Waymond Morris Park Lake is one of 44 designated Fishing in Neighborhoods (FINs) lakes located near urban areas of the state. These lakes receive special stockings of fish to provide anglers with greater opportunity closer to home.

FINs lakes, most of which are located in municipal parks, operate in partnership between Kentucky Fish and Wildlife and local communities. For locations and stocking schedules, go online to and search under the keyword, "FINs."

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