Yellowstone National Park removed more than 300,000 lake trout in 2012, bringing the total to more than 1.1 million of the non-native fish removed from Yellowstone Lake since they were first discovered in 1994. The Yellowstone cutthroat population, the lake’s only native trout, has been severely reduced by lake trout predation and other factors, including whirling disease and drought. However, after several years of sustained lake trout removal efforts, cutthroat trout population monitoring indicated an increase in abundance of young juveniles in 2012. Cutthroat trout serve a vital role in Yellowstone Lake’s ecosystem as an important food source for grizzly bears, birds of prey and other wildlife. The cutthroat decline resulted in several of these species having to use alternate food sources during certain times of the year. The Park continues to work with Montana State University and U.S. Geological Survey researchers to set benchmarks for lake trout removal and they continue to monitor the movements and spawning habits of lake trout.