Found some info

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 23:14:56 01/31/17

In Reply to: No where in the reporting... posted by 46er


There are several reasons why they should not have much by-catch.

1.) Cutthroats tend to stay in the upper level of the water column, like maybe the top 20 or 30 feet. I'm not sure if they stay close to shore all the time, but I know that in spawning season they tend to do that. I did learn in the linked document that 15-24 inch long lake trout tend to come in to shallow water close to shore in June and July. (I have to wonder if they are in there feeding on spawning cuts.)

2.) There is such a size difference between adult cutthroats and reproductively mature lake trout, they should be using nets that would not catch cutthroats, other than the rare lunker. Back in the 1970s, before the lake trout established themselves, we did a lot of cutthroat fishing in the lake during family reunions. Sometimes, we would have 10 or 15 of us out there. Once we had enough to make meals out of, we would do catch and release. I only remember seeing one cut longer than 17 inches, and it was 17.5 inches. The vast majority were between 13 and 16 inches.

3.) Unless it has changed recently, they tend to concentrate on the several areas that the "judas trout" (the lakers with implanted transmitters) led them to, presumably the spawning beds. I know those are in deep water, and quite a ways below the surface.

If you go to pages 22 and 23 in the linked report on the May, 2015 conference, you wills see that in the years 2012-2014 they were averaging 300,000 lake trout caught annually.

There is a statement on page 22:
"Unfortunately, concurrent with this increase in effort, especially effort targeting larger lake trout, Yellowstone cutthroat trout bycatch has also increased, roughly four-fold over earlier years. Approximately 20,000 Yellowstone
cutthroat trout were caught in gill nets in 2014; and at least 60% of those were killed.

The key thing I see is that trap nets tend to result in much lower bycatch (5-7%), while gill nets result in 54-63% bycatch. My problem is I am not familiar with trap nets. I don't know what they look like or how they work.

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