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Yellowstone Officials Attempt Mass Killing of Lake Trout

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The attempted elimination of lake trout comes after several failed efforts to isolate and preserve cutthroat trout from predatory non-native fish species. Even the experts are unsure about how effective the eradication will be, or if there will be any unforeseen consequences of removing lake trout from the ecosystem.

“We may think we know what we’re doing, but the outcomes are going to be unpredictable no matter what,” said Anders Halverson, an aquatic ecologist.

Yellowstone is encouraging anglers to catch and eat as many lake trout as they want in order to help with the eradication effort. Cutthroats are strictly catch-and-release only. Even with unlimited fishing, much of the trout will surely go to waste as the fish are killed in the water. Selling trout fillets in the remote area would be logistically difficult.

Tracking buoys that read the implants embedded in the trout will be deployed later this week — and then the massacre will begin.

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Photo credit: Fishking_1

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137 comments

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11:14AM PST on Feb 22, 2012

fishermen should know better than to introduce nonindigonous species into a water body anywhere

7:50AM PDT on Sep 12, 2011

Lake trout are an introduced species that are destroying not just Cutthroat trout, but the entire food chain linked to the Cutthroat. When I worked in Yellowstone I saw the damage first hand. It is fine to rid one of the last vestiges of wild biodiversity in a region of an introduced species so that we can maintain that unique, wild ecosystem - for research, science, education, recreation, cultural preservation, and much more. Fine to process the Lake trout as food for area animals in need, such as a wolf sanctuary, and for people in need too.

4:44PM PDT on Aug 31, 2011

good idea. let the lake trout eat everything. then the lake trout die out. then we put fish back in because there are no fish for bears,birds and wolves to eat.

1:21AM PDT on Aug 31, 2011

The lake trout will eventually stop breeding when their food supply dwindles.

5:43PM PDT on Aug 30, 2011

Tammy D. people here don't care about that. Like I said, of coyotes were dumped on the Galapagos islands and were gobbling up everything, and left to grow to population of 800. people would want all 800 of them spayed and neuterd, and wait for all 800 of them to die.or wait till 200 are left, then ship them off to Florida or to Patagonia. something stupid.
the'll make petition to "save the Galapagos coyote" and brand everyone a savage who dare go down there to shoot 793 of them to "save the native animals".

because "only humans do bad damage, animals are innocent, they are just eating to live"
People here want coyotes to fix the New Zealand rabbit problem.

10:15AM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

It makes sense to remove the invasive species. they can always re-introduce them if getting rid of them causes a problem. the cutthroat however probably can't be reintroduced.

9:14AM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

thanks for the information

8:34AM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

Yep, if it works break it!

Then spend a lot of money trying to fix it.

Stop interfering with nature.

8:06AM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

I agree with the fact the Lake Trout are causing the Cutthroat Trout to disappear and something needs to be done to rectify the situation, BUT, I also feel, as others have indicated, the Lake Trout should be USED as FOOD, for people who have very little, and would greatly benefit from receiving them.

7:38AM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

thanks for the article

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