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Plan to kill invasive fish in New Brunswick watershed delayed until next year

Smallmouth Bass are seen in a bag after being removed from Miramichi Lake in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Geoff Giffin, Atlantic Salmon Federation

Efforts to eradicate invasive smallmouth bass from New Brunswick’s Miramichi watershed have been put on hold until next year.

A working group has approval from Health Canada to use a product known as rotenone to kill the fish in Miramichi Lake, Lake Brook and along nearly 14 kilometres of the Southwest Miramichi River.

Read more: Delay sought in Miramichi Lake smallmouth bass eradication

Over 120 people and supplies were in place for the operation in mid-August, but protesters in canoes refused to leave the area.

A number of meetings have been held with four Maliseet First Nations to answer questions about the plan.

Officials say it is now getting too late in the year, and the best choice is to delay the project until 2022.

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Smallmouth bass, which were first spotted in the Miramichi watershed in 2008, can alter ecosystems by preying on native species of fish.

Click to play video: 'Miramichi Lake cottage owners want smallmouth bass eradication approval rescinded' Miramichi Lake cottage owners want smallmouth bass eradication approval rescinded
Miramichi Lake cottage owners want smallmouth bass eradication approval rescinded – Aug 24, 2021

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2021.

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