On July 30, 1994, an angler caught a white-spotted fish, just shy of 17 inches long, in Yellowstone Lake. The accompanying guide identified it as a lake trout, a species previously undocumented in Yellowstone Lake, and notified park rangers. Less than a week later, a second lake trout of similar size was caught and reported. As news of the find hit the media, more people came forward to report lake trout.
Posts tagged ‘cutthroat trout’
Yellowstone National Park recently announced that it had removed over 300,000 lake trout from Yellowstone Lake during its summer 2012 gill-netting operations. Yes, that’s three hundred thousand of the non-native, predatory fish pulled out of the lake, all in a single season. And many of them are real whoppers, like the one held by Park Service fisheries biologist Phil Doepke in the NPS photo at left.
Where did all these lake trout come from? Why does the park want them gone? How has the lake trout’s presence in Yellowstone Lake affected other organisms, such as the iconic cutthroat trout? Read more
The harlequin ducks, I was pleased to see, were still at LeHardy Rapids.
A male and female rested on a boulder forty feet from shore, surrounded by raging whitewater. It was the exact same tiny island on which I had seen the harlequins in 2006, 2007, and 2009. There were other, smaller rocky outcrops nearby, but I’d never seen the ducks take advantage of them. The male was awake and preening, running his dainty bill over the slate-blue feathers of his right wing, giving himself a good shake, then starting work on his other side. The female’s head was tucked tidily along her muddy brown back, her weight sunk low onto the rock. The birds were relaxed and wholly in their element.