Pesticide Use with Fish

Rotenone is the generic name of a chemical that may be used to kill unwanted fish. You need to be certified before you can apply rotenone on a fish farm.

Restricted-Use Pesticides

In 1989, the Environmental Protection Agency required all pesticides containing rotenone intended for use in cranberry bogs or to kill fish, to be labeled "restricted-use," meaning they could be bought and used in Wisconsin only by someone certified by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Applicator Certification

You can become certified by first acquiring training materials, then by either self-studying the materials and writing a written exam, or by attending a training session where the exam is given at the end of the session. If you are using or planning to use restricted-use pesticides, including those containing rotenone, for control of aquatic pests at your establishment, you must be certified as either a private pesticide applicator, or a commercial aquatic pesticide applicator.

Private Pesticide Applicator

Private pesticide applicators may use restricted-use pesticides on property they own or lease to produce an agricultural commodity, which includes fish production. Because the training materials and exam for private applicators are geared to the typical Wisconsin agricultural producer, and do not concentrate on aquaculture, most fish farmers find the subject matter covered by the commercial aquatic applicator category more suitable.

If you are not currently certified and wish to certify as a private applicator, call your county extension office for private training materials and to schedule an exam. Private applicator training sessions in your county may be completed for the year; however, you may borrow a videotape of the private applicator training session from your county agent and then take the written exam.

Commercial Pesticide Applicator

If you wish to certify in the commercial aquatic applicator category, you can get a Commercial Applicator Training Card by calling the University of Wisconsin Extension Pesticide Applicator Training office at 608-262-7588, option 1. Mail it to the address given on the card along with the $45 training manual fee. You can also visit the PAT website. Although there are no commercial training sessions for the aquatic category scheduled for 2008, you may self-study the materials and schedule an exam by calling DATCP at 608-224-4548.

Test only sessions are held at six locations: Madison, Waukesha, Spooner, Green Bay, Wausau, or Eau Claire. Information on how to schedule an exam will be provided to you with your training materials.

You should also check with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to see if that agency requires a permit to use rotenone in your situation.