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.