QUINCY, California (STPNS) -- Public comment begins Sept. 1 on the proposed Lake Davis Pike Eradication Project?s joint draft environmental review document.

    Four public hearings have been scheduled for September and October. The comment period is scheduled to run for 45 days, from Sept. 1 to Oct. 16.

    The public may provide verbal and written comments at the hearings scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 26. There will be two sessions, the first from 1 to 4 p.m. and the second from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Portola Station Baptist Church, 171 S. Gulling St. in Portola.

    Comments may also be submitted at the second set of hearings Thursday, Oct.  5. The first session will be from 1 to 4 p.m. and the second from 6 to 9 p.m. They will be held at the National University, Room 120, 9320 Tech Center Dr. in Sacramento.  

    Written comments may also be submitted by e-mail by going to the Web site dfg.ca.gov/northernpike, or by fax, hand-delivery or U.S. mail.

    Verbal comments may be submitted to the U.S. Forest Service, Plumas National Forest, by appointment. Call 283-7761 to make an appointment.

    Entrix Inc. prepared the Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed project for the agencies. The draft addresses the potential environmental effects of the project  as well as project alternatives.

    An Initial Study was prepared and distributed in September 2005.

    The draft document and supporting materials are  available on the Fish and Game Web site at dfg.ca.gov/northernpike and upon request at (916) 445-3584. Copies of the draft are available for review at the following locations:

- DFG, 4001 N. Wilson Way, Stockton

- DFG, 1701 Nimbus Rd., Suite A, Rancho Cordova

- DFG, 1416 9th St., 1st Floor, Office of Communications, Sacramento

- Plumas National Forest, Beckwourth Ranger District, 23 Mohawk Rd., Blairsden

- Plumas National Forest, 159 Lawrence St., Quincy

- Sacramento Public Library, 828 I St., Sacramento

- Plumas County Library, 445 Jackson St., Quincy

- Plumas County Library, Portola Branch, 34 Third Ave., Portola

- Portola City Hall, 35 Third Ave., Portola.

    With the release of the draft Sept. 1, a 45-day comment period began, ending at 5 p.m. on Oct. 16. Comments must be postmarked or received by Oct. 16.

    Mail, fax or hand deliver written comments to DFG and PNF at: Lake Davis Pike Eradication Project, Department of Fish and Game, 1812 9th St., Attention: Ed Pert, Sacramento, CA 95814, fax (916) 445-4044.

    Lake Davis, the only body of water in California where pike are known to exist, is a State Water Project reservoir located within Plumas County and the PNF, approximately six miles upstream of the confluence of Big Grizzly Creek with the Middle Fork Feather River, and five miles north of the town of Portola on State Highway 70.

    Lake Davis drains into the Middle Fork Feather River, which ends at Lake Oroville. From Lake Oroville, water flows into the Feather River, then into the Sacramento River, and from there into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

    The project area comprises the area directly affected by the project alternatives, including treatment and neutralization activities.

    The department proposes to eradicate pike from Lake Davis and its tributaries to re-establish the trout fishery at Lake Davis and to prevent the pike from escaping from the reservoir and causing ecological impacts in other parts of the state.

    The primary goal of the project is complete eradication of pike from Lake Davis and its tributaries.

    The project would be approved and implemented by Fish and Game. The Plumas National Forest action for the project is the issuance of a special use permit to Fish and Game and, potentially, two forest closure orders.

    Seven project alternatives are evaluated in the draft document, including the proposed project/proposed action, which involves the drawdown of Lake Davis to approximately 15,000 acre-feet and the application of liquid rotenone to the reservoir and its tributaries.

    One alternative would use powdered rotenone only to treat the reservoir at this same volume.

    Three other alternatives also involve liquid rotenone treatment of Lake Davis and its tributaries, utilizing varying degrees of a lake drawdown.

    One alternative is a non-chemical approach, involving the complete dewatering of the reservoir and its tributaries.

    There is also a "do nothing" alternative.

    In addition, the document analyzes four options for neutralization of treated water in Lake Davis, which could be discharged into Big Grizzly Creek.

     The document evaluates the impact all the alternatives could have on physical, biological, human and environmental resources.

    Fish and Game hopes to decide on whether or not to implement a project in January 2007.