James Pellerin, a biologist with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIFW), said that the operation was necessary to reclaim the pond for brook trout and other native species.
"It [the pond] has the ability to produce a decent brook trout fishery," said Pellerin
"The problem is it has a lot of invasive species in it."
said that the invasive species include rainbow smelt, pickerel, brown bullhead catfish, golden shiners, white suckers, and pumpkin seed sunfish, many of which eat or compete with brook trout.
said that none of them occur naturally in Little Concord, and that humans are to blame.
"Somehow over the years, some people must have brought the fish in," he
"There's an impassable falls [between Little Concord and Big Concord].
They didn't fly in."
said that the operation, which culminated in the release of rotenone during the last week of August, took significant amounts of preparation and coordination between the DIFW, the Department of Conservation, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Biodiversity Institute, and Patriot Renewables
, a wind power company which helped to transport equipment to the pond.
Water was first drained from the Little Concord to prevent rotenone from entering into Big Concord.
Hurricane Irene threatened to derail the operation by dumping more water into the Little Concord, but Pellerin
said the project was salvaged by the application of sandbags to help contain the water.
"We were kind of touch and go for a while," he
The Biodiversity Institute
helped by relocating a loon chick that did not yet have its flight feathers, and so couldn't relocate itself to another pond while the fish populations recover.
said that the rotenone is not directly dangerous to birds or mammals, but that species which rely on fish for their food do have to relocate.
In order to kill a 40-pound dog, said Pellerin
, the dog would have to eat 150 pounds of contaminated fish within 24 hours to die.
"It's not going to happen," he
said that the chemical is a natural plant derivative, and that it breaks down in warmth and sunlight after two to 12 weeks, depending on the weather.
At Little Concord, Pellerin
said that things are going well.
"It's breaking down nicely," he
"There's been no discharge from the pond."
hopes to stock the pond in 2012.
"We will eventually restock it with brook trout, probably next spring or next fall," he
"With the competition gone and without any predation issues from pickerel, they will probably do well.
The water quality is good."
said that the pond is heavily used by humans for fishing, and that there was significant contact with members of the public during a DEP-required public hearing.
also said that many curious passersby asked questions about the IFW presence at the pond.
said that "other than one or two," people that he
spoke with were supportive of the project once they had their questions answered and their concerns satisfied.