Diamond Lake shiners are in for a shock

What's the latest with the golden shiners found in Diamond Lake? How many have they found and did they catch the moron who dumped them in?

— Michael A., via e-mail

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists keep looking for golden shiners in Diamond Lake, and they keep finding them — much to the dismay of everyone who worked on poisoning the lake in September 2006 to eliminate tui chubs and shiners.

Golden shiners are often called minnows and used as bait throughout much of the United States. They are illegal in Oregon's fresh water bodies, a fact someone either accidentally or intentionally ignored by introducing shiners there, likely last year.

Through Friday, ODFW biologists using electro-shocking boats have caught and removed 580 shiners, ODFW spokeswoman Meghan Collins says. Shocking will continue this week, she says.

The electro-shocking boats use just enough electricity to kill the shiners, but the trout survive.

Perhaps more troublesome to biologists is that 29.5 percent of the shiners captured last week were spawned-out, Collins says. That means they appear to be reproducing, though no young-of-the-year have been discovered, she says.

Shiners are not new to Diamond Lake. They were discovered in the 1980s, but the population never exploded like the invasive tui chubs, which destroyed the lake's trout fishery and water quality.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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