One little glimmer

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 11:17:05 01/31/17

In Reply to: Some info.... posted by 46er


I noticed one sentence near the bottom of the linked NPS page, under the heading "Outlook", that confirms what I thought I remembered reading somewhere in the last 6 months. It reads:

"Recent monitoring indicates Yellowstone cutthroat trout in Yellowstone Lake are starting to rebound and the lake trout population is in decline."

I have not seen any report of hard numbers to back up the statement; and it may be impossible to produce such statistics at present. This may be more anecdotal, but I do know that one of the key measurements that has been used to monitor the situation is counting cutthroat at weirs and other spots on tributary streams that flow into Yellowstone Lake during spawning season. If they are seeing increased numbers of spawners, that would be significant. Hopefully, they are erring on the side of conservatism. If so, this would be the first optimistic news since the battle began.

I know that the effort to suppress lake trout numbers involves a lot of expensive operations, involving multiple boats and personnel, particularly during the lake trout spawning season, when they gillnet the spawning areas. To my knowledge, the NPS does not have adequate funding in their budget to accomplish this, so they have been relying heavily on donations secured via the Yellowstone Park Foundation (now Yellowstone Forever, via the merger with the Yellowstone Association). If the new Administration re-prioritizes federal spending, and DOI sees sizeable budget cuts, this program could be jeopardized. Hopefully, Yellowstone Forever will be able to pick up the slack in that scary scenario.


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