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Despres Lake, New Brunswick

In 2001, biologists with New Brunswick's Department of Natural Resources confirmed the presence of chain pickerel in Despres Lake, a small headwater tributary of the Cains River in the Miramichi Watershed. It's believed that the chain pickerel were illegally introduced by an ice-fisherman during the winter of 1999. 


Invasive chain pickerel, like smallmouth bass, have severe negative consequences on native species like speckled trout and Atlantic Salmon. After reviewing containment and removal options, provincial staff concluded that the only effective method to prevent the migration of chain pickerel into the Miramichi River system was rotenone eradication.


An applicator team sprays rotenone on the surface of Despres Lake in October, 2001. Photo N.B. Department of Natural Resources

At 16.5 hectares, the treatment of Despres Lake was conducted over a six hour period. Over a two week period, 691 chain pickerel were collected and disposed of, along with 3,225 yellow perch. The eradication was considered a success, and as a result chain pickerel have not become established in the Miramichi watershed.

More information:

Chain pickerel from three different ages classes collected following the treatment of Despres Lake in 2001. Photo N.B. Department of Natural Resources

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