Lake Trout Problem In Yellowstone

Lakers in Yellowstone

Lakers in Yellowstone Lake may have been around since the late 1800'sIt has been said that Lake Trout or Mackinaw, a species of Char, “were discovered” by anglers in 1994.

However, this information does not necessarily mean that this is when the problem began.

“But since non-native lake trout were discovered in Yellowstone Lake by an angler in 1994, the famous cutthroat population has been threatened.”


…and this

“Yellowstone Lake is home of the premier surviving inland cutthroat trout fishery in North America. This fishery is threatened with destruction by illegally introduced lake trout, which were discovered in 1994.”

Source: A Report To The Director of the National Park Service 1995

Char Species introduction dates back to 1890In fact, it could be said that The U. S. Bureau of Fisheries Department was responsible for the initial introduction of Lake Trout to Yellowstone Park (along with other non-indigenous species).

Additionally, DAWGS Member Leon Sanderson has this to say about the subject of Lake Trout on Yellowstone Lake:

Lake Trout in Yellowstone Lake

“It is no mystery how the Lake Trout found it’s way to Yellowstone Park. The Bureau of Fisheries Department is the responsible party for the initial introduction of Lake Trout into Yellowstone Park (along with other non-indigenous species). Although there is no documentation to prove they planted the fish directly into Yellowstone Lake itself, they were responsible for the species finding a home in the two lakes closest to Yellowstone Lake. The practice of trapping bait fish has been wide spread, legal and used by sportsman (largely ice fisherman) for decades if not centuries. This practice spawns (no pun intended) the spread of fish species from one body of water to another. The dumping of bait “down the hole” at the end of the day or season is and was commonplace. That said, the issue of “who is responsible” is a moot point at this stage of the game.”

Sanderson continues, “The Lake Trout have thrived in Yellowstone Lake, feeding primarily on the native Cutthroat trout. The park service, TU and many other organizations have joined forces to find the best possible solution to this problem. After listening to Dave Sweet (Yellowstone Lake Special Project Manager, WY TU) give a presentation on the issue, I feel like there may be a glimmer of hope! Dubois Anglers and Wildlife Group (DAWGS) made a contribution to help purchase equipment for the research project. We encourage all join in and help the effort of finding a solution to this problem.”

Despite this argument as to who is to blame for the Lake Trout in Yellowstone Lake, the fact remains that it is a problem.

In fact, if you would like to see how much of a problem it really is, please watch the full Save The Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout Video Series Talk about a great presentation! If you ever wanted to learn more about the lake trout problem – these are the videos to see.

Of course the Lake Trout Battle has been waged for several years:

“Dr. Robert Gresswell of the USGS, with the support and encouragement of the fisheries team in Yellowstone, has launched a hydro-acoustic telemetry study on Yellowstone Lake. On this last Thursday the first of 140 hydro-acoustic tags were implanted in adult lake trout aboard the Sheepshead that were taken from the trap nets.”

Source: Wyoming Trout Unlimited

On March 5th, 2012, the Dubois Anglers and Wildlife Group will meet at the Headwaters to discuss the situation.

Cutthroat In Crisis Wyoming TU Publication-Free DownloadMany representatives for the Wyoming Game and Fish will be there, Trout Unlimited, DAWGS Members and more.

We hope you will be able to attend.

UPDATE: David Sweet, YL Project Manager, gave his presentation at the Headwaters about Saving The Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout in Yellowstone Lake.

Dubois Anglers and Wildlife Group Members, representatives from the Wyoming Game and Fish, and other interested parties were in attendance.

Video of the entire presentation was taken and is now available for you to see. If you ever wanted to really know what is happening with the Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout in Yellowstone lake, were interested in what is being done – or are simply curious – you will want to watch these three videos

Click Here To Download the full-color YL Brochure. YES! I Want To Help SAVE The Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout! Please except my tax-deductible donation.

6 thoughts on “Lake Trout Problem In Yellowstone

  1. It’s a little disingenuous to blame “the government” for the lake trout problem in Yellowstone Lake. Yes, many of the early plantings of invasive fish around the West were done by, or with the blessing of, agencies, but they were most often done at the behest of sportsman’s groups who thought they would “improve” the fishery. That is true of most of the lake trout plantings around the west. In most cases, state, federal and local agencies were carrying out the wishes of local sportsmen. If there had been vigorous opposition by local anglers, most plantings would not have happened.

    So yes, the government was involved, but so were we. We are past the point of trying to establish blame. It is now up to us to try to remedy the mistakes of the past and we do that best by working together with sportsmen and government agencies, not by blaming each other.

    And, by the way, it was still most likely anglers who moved lake trout from Lewis Lake to Yellowstone Lake and it was certainly not the evil “government”.

  2. Pingback: Save The Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout Video SeriesDubois Anglers and Wildlife Group: DAWGS

  3. Pingback: Yellowstone Lake Trout Problem [VIDEOS]: What Can You Do?

  4. Dear Dubois Anglers: In Canada they have for many years stocked LT in popular fishing lakes to keep them in sufficient numbers to have open seasons in winter and summer. Why,
    except for fishing pressure,are these lakes for LT different than Yellowstone, Swan, and Quatz? It seems to me that the answer has to do with the number of fish species present.
    In other words. the recruiment of LT is held
    down by species that consume the early life forms of LT in Canadian waters. The fish species most active in reducing Lake Trout recruitment are Cisco, Rainbow Smelt, Mottled Sculpin,and Burbot. If interested you can read papers by Leon Carl and other well known fish biologists on this topic. AGP

  5. HI DAWGS: I would like to send you a small writeup about lake trout control that I feel has some chance of success. It could be done right along with all of the seining, if the introduced species were able to go through the gillnets. I know that fish biologists are very much against the introduction of other non-native fish, but the lake trout is a non-native that is already present! Could you give me a postal address to use? AGP

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