Cutthroat Trout Feeding
Photo Courtesy of Judy Lehmberg
The native Yellowstone cutthroat trout population in Yellowstone Lake and its ecosystem is now reduced to less than 10% of its historic population primarily due to depredation by illegally introduced lake trout! Lake trout were initially reported in Yellowstone Lake in 1994, and subsequently, Yellowstone cutthroat trout have become the major prey of lake trout in the lake.
Telemetry tagging and tracking of lake trout in Yellowstone Lake began in summer 2011. Tracking is expensive but necessary to determine lake trout movements and spawning beds locations. This information will allow managers to target suppression activities (traps, gill netting, spawning bed disruption) to reduce lake trout numbers in the Yellowstone Lake ecosystem and set the stage for rebuilding Yellowstone cutthroat trout abundance in Yellowstone National Park.
The International Federation of Fly Fishers has joined with the US Geological Survey, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Trout Unlimited, and the National Parks Conservation Association to raise funds to support Yellowstone National Park’s efforts to conserve native fish and save the Yellowstone cutthroat trout. Partners, including FFF and TU have raised significant funds already, but much more are needed.
Scientific Report on the Lake Trout Suppression in Yellowstone Issued
Recently, a report was issued by the scientific community on the efforts to control Lake Trout in Yellowstone. One of the key findings was that the level of Lake Trout suppression effort in 2015 was again above primary goals (70,000 100-m net nights). Continuing suppression at this level of effort for another 7 years (for a total of 10 years), should be sufficient to result in clear evidence of population control. Click here to read full report.
IFFF's portion of the funding to support this keystone project has been provided thus far by IFFF’s National Conservation Fund, Great Lakes Council, Western Rocky Mountain Council and Eastern Rocky Mountain Council. Donations to support this important project from individuals or from more IFFF Councils are appreciated.
Donate to the Yellowstone Lake Trout Telemetry study.
You may also donate to the IFFF's overall Conservation program by using the Donate Button below.