yellowstone troubles

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by mike doughty, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. mike doughty

    mike doughty Honorary Member

  2. jackchinook

    jackchinook Member

    That story is truly a tragedy. I worked for the NPS on that netting crew in the summer of 2000. Great place to live but a very boring job for after a while. Not very fulfilling to pull nets all the time and kill lake trout. We killed something like 11,000 lake trout that summer. The ecological implications of the illegal intro of lake trout into that lake will be staggering and the problem will NEVER go away, at least with today's technology. It's something like 87,000 acres in size and very deep. You could never poison it or fish all the lake trout out. Very, very sad that someone with obviously ZERO knowledge of biology and ecology of fishes would introduce non-native piscivores into that lake. There is no punishment that could vindicate that action.
  3. darik

    darik guy without a clever handle

    It's too bad that things have to get bad enough for a species to be listed as "threatened" or "endangered" before the general public to give a damn about it. Sounds a lot like our local salmon and steelhead story, too.

    I've always wondered how many people would be screaming bloody murder if C&R was mandatory for ALL salmon and steelhead ANYWHERE in the state (including saltwater). Even for just one year. I know that anadramous fish have a lot more problems than sport fisherman (habitat loss, reservation netting, etc), but it's funny how people always get concerned about a species all of a sudden once they aren't allowed to kill any.

    Just my short rant on the subject, I'm done. :)
  4. JE

    JE Active Member

    I worked in the park during the summers of '94 and '95. I remember fishing the Lake for the first time pretty soon after the lake opened for the season of '94. I saw a young couple walking back to their car carrying two 19" + lake trout on a stick. I had heard some rumblings of the problem but seeing those fish really drove home the point and quite frankly made me sick. With whirling disease and NZ mudsnails on top of it, things are not getting easier. That is a special ecosystem and those Yellowstone Cutthroat are at the heart of it.
  5. FT

    FT Active Member


    We say exactly what happens last Februray when the WDFW Commissioners decided to impose a 2 year moratorium on killing wild steelhead in all Washington State rivers year round beginning last April. Many sportsfishers and guides, along with the city council, mayor, and city attorney of Forks, and several legislators screamed bloody murder and got the moratorium overturned. This resulted in the WDFW Commissioners recinding the wild kill moratorium and going with a regulation allowing 1 wild steelhead/per year/angler to be killed on certain rivers.

    The Hoh River was among them despite it not being projected to reach its escapement goal of 2400 fish. And the Hoh Tribe took 833 wild steelhead last year and sportsfishers took another 208 wild fish. This resulted in only 1400 wild fish reaching the spawning grounds. There is a Hoh Tribe net fishery scheduled this year on these wild fish and a sportsfishing wild fish harvest alowed as well despite the escapement on the Hoh being set at 2400 fish and there only being a projected wild run of 3000 fish. I wonder if the Hoh's are going to stop fishing after they take 317 fish (their 50% share of the harvestible surplus as per Bolt), or if they will continue netting all the way through March and April like last year when they took 4 times as many as the sportsfishers.

    Personally, I think the Hoh Tribe's net fishery should be curtailed as soon as they hit 317 fish, even if it is reached in the first week of March. I also think the sportsfishers ought to forego any wild kill since it is nearly impossible to monitor the sportsfishing kill in an ongoing manner as the season progresses.

    Anyone want to take a bet on the Hoh's curtailing their net fishery upon reaching 317 fish? If you do, I know of some very nice mountain property outside of Cascade, MT for sale; but I must tell you it sits at 7,000' elevation and is under snow 8-9 months each year with only a single-lane, unimproved dirt road to get into it and you would have to put in 20 miles of electical lines to get electricity to your property. Hey, it is cheap though at only $30,000.00for 20 acres.
  6. Kyle Smith

    Kyle Smith Active Member

    I must say, there are a ton of browns in rainbows in the Yellowstone. I grew up three miles from the Yellowstone, and I never once caught a cutthroat there. Plenty of big rainbows. Some tributaries outside the park have tons of cutthroats, like the Boulder and to a lesser degree the Stillwater and it's main tributaries, the East and West Rosebud rivers, though it's sad to say brookies are the dominant species there. Lake Trout obviously have nothing to do with the population downstream of the falls. I'm sure that there were once cutthroats all the way down to the confluence with the Bighorn, before the Montana Power Company started spewing hot water into the river in Billings. Three oil refineries and a history of mining in the watershed couldn't possibly have helped, either. Then there's cattle, then there's irrigation. It makes me sad to think of the way the most beautiful (sorry Washington) contiguous state has been torn apart by my ancestors. At least there are no dams on the Yellowstone!
  7. jackchinook

    jackchinook Member

    God forbid I sound like my ecological concerns could extend beyond fish! But the situation in Yellowstone Lake wouldn't be nearly as tragic if the fish were being outcompeted by, say, brown trout and/or rainbows. The problem with lake trout is that they are born, rear, spawn and die in the lake...mostly in deep water. They are of no value to any of the other park animals since they never ascend the tributaries to spawn. It's basically a dead-end to the nutrient cycle that's been evolving there for the past 11,000 years. At least with rainbows, the bears, eagles, ospreys, coyotes, wolves, weasels, minks, etc. etc. etc. could get a bite to eat every spring.

    And how lame are lake trout for the flyfisherman?
    Answer: pretty lame.
  8. Steve Buckner

    Steve Buckner Mother Nature's Son

    This is a tragedy indeed. Our natural world is quickly falling by the wayside. If there is one bright spot for me, it's seeing that people care about this...maybe there's still some hope.

    Speaking of Yellowstone, did anyone else see this about the grizzlies a week or two ago?

    Back to our part of the globe, I'm continually puzzled that within the Olympic National Park, there are still provisions for killing wild steelhead...:beathead:
  9. Irafly

    Irafly Active Member

    The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and the major waterfall in the park on the Yellowstone River have prevented the browns and rainbows from moving up into the lake and it's kept the Cuts from moving down.

    As for lakers being lame to flyfisherman... well you just keep thinking that and stay away from my fun.


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