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Saturday, March 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Yellowstone reports record haul of invasive lake trout


 Yellowstone Park employees dump the remains of lake trout they caught into Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. The crews put gill nets in the lake to catch the trout in an attempt to eradicate the species from the lake. 
 (Associated Press photos / The Spokesman-Review)
Yellowstone Park employees dump the remains of lake trout they caught into Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. The crews put gill nets in the lake to catch the trout in an attempt to eradicate the species from the lake. (Associated Press photos / The Spokesman-Review)

INVASIVE SPECIES – Yellowstone National Park staff are getting pretty darned good at catching fish in their effort to control an invasive species apparently released years ago by a selfish, boneheaded bucket biologist.

Yellowstone Lake has had another record year for lake trout removal after about 366,000 of the nonnative trout were netted and killed to make way for the fishery’s native Yellowstone cutthroat trout.

The Billings Gazette reports that 315,000 lake trout were taken last year. Intensive efforts to remove the invasive fish have been ongoing since 2012.

The National Park Service’s latest attempt to find a way to kill lake trout eggs is by dumping the dead nonnative fish on the eggs. The process has so far proved successful, killing the embryos over the course of about two weeks.

Populations of native fish are slowly increasing in the lake’s tributaries, with numbers in Clear Creek totaling 750, up from the 500 to 600 fish counted in 2008.

Research indicates the native cutthroats are important in the ecosystem, contributing even to the health of grizzly bears.



Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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