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Fish Eradication Progressing Well

Yellowstone Lake

During his visit with Jackson Hole Rotarians this week, Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk revealed that efforts to eradicate lake trout from Yellowstone Lake have been very successful.  Wenk says over 300-thousand lake trout were removed from the lake last year alone, and there are good indications that the native cutthroat trout are coming back. He says that is good news for the entire ecosystem. Wenk explains that cutthroat trout is part of a food source for 42 different species of animals.  Wenk says, “We had about 4-million cutthroat trout in Lake Yellowstone in the early ‘90s – now we believe we have somewhere around 400-thousand; so it’s about a 90% decline in the population.”  Wenk adds that the loss of cutthroat trout to grizzly bears as a food source actually has an effect on the elk population in the northern range of Yellowstone National Park. Wenk says up to 42 species of animals in the park including the bears, otters, eagles, and osprey are directly impacted by the dwindling population of cutthroat trout.  He says lake trout are actually predators, and one mature lake trout can eat 40 to 50 cutthroat trout each year.

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