LEMOLO LAKE, Ore. -- Scott Lamb, the owner of Lemolo Lake Resort, is suing the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Forest Service for a failure to put in nets that he says would have stopped Tui Chub from entering Lemolo Lake.
Tui Chub is an invasive species of fish that eat zoo plankton. Zoo plankton eat algae, so if a lake has too many chub, it can have dangerously high levels of algae.
According to Lamb, the Tui Chub infestation at the lake has devastated his business. "The water's crystal clear, it's a beautiful, beautiful August day, and there's nobody on the lake. No One." said Lamb. "The fishing is excellent, the water's safe, the lodge is beautiful and clean and ready for people, and people are scared to come here because of the toxic algae warnings that are rampant."
Lamb argues that the Tui Chub came from Diamond Lake.
Several years ago, Diamond Lake had a chub infestation as well, and Lamb says that they were flushed from Diamond Lake directly into Lemolo Lake.
According to the environmental impact statement, nets were supposed to be used to stop the chub from entering Lemolo, but no nets were used.
While the forest service declined to comment, Larry Cooper of ODFW says that they thought ice would make fish traps inoperable.
Lamb is suing for a total of $7 million.
"The government promised you and I that they were going to put in nets and screens in their environmental impact statement, and when the project began, they had a decision to not put in they nets and screens." Lamb told KPIC News. "They didn't notify us. All they did was simply flush the Tui Chub down through the system into Lemolo Lake and the North Umpqua River, and it's devastated our business and many businesses below."
The blue green algae warning on Lemolo Lake has been lifted, but Lamb says that he is continuing with the lawsuit.