FREDERICTON -- A plan to wipe out a population of smallmouth bass from a New Brunswick lake in order to protect salmon in the Miramichi River has taken another step forward.

A coalition of conservation groups were told this week to register their salmon-protection strategy for a review by New Brunswick's Department of Environment and Local Government.

The department can waive further study and proceed with conditions, order a comprehensive environmental impact assessment or reject the project.

The group is still working to get federal approval to eliminate the voracious, invasive species using a toxin called rotenone.

A report prepared for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in 2008 recommended complete eradication of the smallmouth bass from the lake.

The group was hoping to get approval for their project this year, but now say they'll probably have to wait until 2021.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 16, 2020.