Yellowstone Lake Boat Netting Pulls Out Most Invasive Lake Trout Ever

By on November 25, 2015
Gill netting boats trying to lower the population of lake trout in Yellowstone Lake are spending more time fishing remote areas away from the West Thumb. (Courtesy Yellowstone National Park)

Officials at Yellowstone National Park say that this year’s efforts to net invasive lake trout from Yellowstone Lake have resulted in the biggest haul ever, according to the Jackson Hole News & Guide. The work relied mostly on netting boats to gather the non-native fish.

That netting effort, which wrapped up in October, removed some 315,500 lake trout from Yellowstone Lake. The figure beats recent year totals — 277,000 in 2014; 301,000 in 2013; and 302,000 in 2012 — by almost 15,000 lake trout.

In contrast, the numbers of invasive fish pulled in by gill nets, typically just left deployed in the lake by managers, has stabilized. That’s good news for officials at the park fighting the rise of lake trout in Yellowstone Lake, but is somewhat of an unexpected find in light of the netting boat haul.

Park officials say they plan to continue netting the invasive fish to help the native cutthroat trout that live in the lake. A study from Montana State University predicts it will take about 13 years of netting for cutthroat goals to be met.

Top image: Gill netting boats trying to lower the population of lake trout in Yellowstone Lake are spending more time fishing remote areas away from the West Thumb. (Courtesy Yellowstone National Park)

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