Article Ongoing efforts to reduce lake trout in Yellowstone Lake

#1
Here is a recent article from the Billings newspaper indicating that the ongoing efforts to control the lake trout population in Yellowstone Lake are resulting in an increase in the cutthroat population:

http://billingsgazette.com/lifestyl...cle_a66a86ed-0612-5d3e-8129-3828275ae85f.html

I fish the Yellowstone River in the Park several times over the course of the summer. Although the cutthroat population in the river below the lake is nothing like it once was, there are a number of very large cutthroat in the river there, and quite a few smaller ones have begun showing up there the past several years, which I believe is indicative the ongoing success of the lake trout netting program.
 

jamma

Active Member
#2
Here is a recent article from the Billings newspaper indicating that the ongoing efforts to control the lake trout population in Yellowstone Lake are resulting in an increase in the cutthroat population:

http://billingsgazette.com/lifestyl...cle_a66a86ed-0612-5d3e-8129-3828275ae85f.html

I fish the Yellowstone River in the Park several times over the course of the summer. Although the cutthroat population in the river below the lake is nothing like it once was, there are a number of very large cutthroat in the river there, and quite a few smaller ones have begun showing up there the past several years, which I believe is indicative the ongoing success of the lake trout netting program.
Read a fascinating article on how they are planning to use shredded lake trout to smother their spawning beds.Here’s to the continued success of the program.
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
#4
Amazing...harvest and destroying spawning habitat reduces the population. Wow! I wonder if it would work in reverse for other species..

All sarcasm aside. This is great news for Yellowstone cutties.
 

jwg

Active Member
#5
Have Lake Trout always been in Yellowstone lake??
No, they are not native.

Here is how the article describes their impact on cutthroat:

"lake trout were illegally introduced into Yellowstone Lake sometime in the late 1970s or early '80s. Lake trout are very predatory, and it wasn't long before the Yellowstone cutthroat trout population in the lake started to decline.

Yellowstone cutts are a key species in the park. They provide food for a number of other predators including grizzly bears, white pelicans, osprey, bald eagles, great blue herons and otters. As the lake trout population increased, the cutthroat population decreased. It is estimated the cutthroat population was 4 million but in 20 years it had declined to 200,000 or so.

Lake trout spawn in lakes whereas cutthroat trout spawn in tributary streams. In 1978, estimates of the cutthroats spawning in Clear Creek were put at 70,000 fish; in 1998 the estimate was 10,000 or so; and in 2008 it was near zero.
 
#8
No, they are not native.

Here is how the article describes their impact on cutthroat:

"lake trout were illegally introduced into Yellowstone Lake sometime in the late 1970s or early '80s. Lake trout are very predatory, and it wasn't long before the Yellowstone cutthroat trout population in the lake started to decline.

Yellowstone cutts are a key species in the park. They provide food for a number of other predators including grizzly bears, white pelicans, osprey, bald eagles, great blue herons and otters. As the lake trout population increased, the cutthroat population decreased. It is estimated the cutthroat population was 4 million but in 20 years it had declined to 200,000 or so.

Lake trout spawn in lakes whereas cutthroat trout spawn in tributary streams. In 1978, estimates of the cutthroats spawning in Clear Creek were put at 70,000 fish; in 1998 the estimate was 10,000 or so; and in 2008 it was near zero.
I believe it was 1994 that the first lake trout was reported to have been caught by an angler in Yellowstone Lake. Although it is reported they may have been put into the lake sometime during the 1980’s, in about 2001 or 2002 I saw a picture of a very large lake trout that had been netted in the lake that the biologists estimated was over 25 years old. So, I’m thinking that Lake Trout could have been in the lake during the 1970’s and quite possibly even earlier.

It’s a very big lake, and one that formerly had a very large cutthroat population. Starting with just a couple lake trout, I think they could easily have been in there for decades without being detected.

A man that I know who lives in Paradise Valley near where I am during the summer, has done geothermal studies for the government for many years of the guyser activity on the bottom of Yellowstone Lake. He and his team basically spend the entire summer on the lake in a large research boat, sending down an unmanned robot, and other instruments, to study and measure these underwater geysers. I forget just how many years he’s been doing these studies, but believe it is over 20 years.

He says there are more guysers under the lake than the entire number outside the lake. Nonetheless, the summer before last he said they discovered a very large guyser there that they had not previously known of.

So if a very large guyser could escape detection by a group of scientists using sophisticated electronics looking for them for many years, it seems logical that a relatively small handful of lake trout could similarly go undetected for a long period of time.
 
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Old406Kid

Active Member
#9
Just a dimwit who wants to sit on his ass trolling around catching big fish for his grip and grin fantasies.
Agreed with that but it seems like such an out of the way and unlikely location.
I also have to wonder what body of water they could of came from in the first place.
 

Shopkeeper

Active Member
#10
Great, great news for one of my favorite places to fish...This is a 2015 Yellowstone Lake fish (pretty average size), and there were plenty of them that day...Missed 2016 and 2017 wind cancelled the trip. Heading back this June; if the improvements are noticeable over 2015's numbers, I might not come home.

IMG_0288.jpg
 

GAT

Dumbfounded
#11
Removal of an unwanted species of fish from a lake is never easy but I'm aware of a few where netting the evil fish has worked. If netting doesn't work there's always the extreme approach that involves killing everything in the lake and starting over. Obviously you'd only want to use poison in a close lake so that route is one of last resort and quite extreme.

Considering the size of Yellowstone Lake I'm surprised that the netting approach is working so well but I'm glad it is.
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
#12
Well I had to ask about those fish.

I don't think you could ever poison that lake to get rid of those unwanted lake trout. It's a pretty big body of water.
 

creekx

spent spinner
#14
What puzzles me is why some dimwit would have hatched the plan to illegally introduce them there in the first place.:confused:
Same type of dimwits that have illegally planted walleye, bass and northern pike all over the west. We can also thank the USFWS for the lakers being readily available in nearby Lewis Lake. They introduced them in 1890. It was just a matter of time...
 

Shopkeeper

Active Member
#15
Same type of dimwits that have illegally planted walleye, bass and northern pike all over the west. We can also thank the USFWS for the lakers being readily available in nearby Lewis Lake. They introduced them in 1890. It was just a matter of time...
Yup...Canyon Ferry near Helena has gone from a “catch & kill” walleye policy to hosting walleye tournaments.

I like walleye as much as the next guy, but not at the expense of trout.
 

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