VISALIA — The California Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared the way for the state Fish and Game Department to poison all the fish in a San Joaquin Valley lake and two river systems flowing through Tulare and Kings counties.
Barring any other last-minute hitches in their plans, Fish and Game officials said they will begin dumping thousands of gallons of the pesticide rotenone in Kaweah Lake, east of Visalia, on Friday, or early next week.
State experts say they must kill all the fish in the lake and the Kaweah and Tule rivers to get rid of the white bass, a voracious predator that poses a threat to the aquatic ecosystem in the San Joaquin River Delta nearly 200 miles to the north.
Last week the Supreme Court issued a temporary order stopping the fish kill after the Tulare County Board of Supervisors went to court to protest the state's actions. That stay was lifted after the county's attorneys unsuccessfully contended that the state had exceeded its authority.