Yellowstone Lake’s native cutthroat trout getting bigger as population rebounds
Video courtesy of Yellowstone National Park
As the lake trout population has been reduced by nearly three decades of netting, Yellowstone Lake’s native cutthroat trout have slowly rebounded and gotten bigger — a lot bigger.
Jacob W. Frank, NPS
“From the perspective of an angler, these fish are phenomenal,” said Todd Koel, Yellowstone’s lead fisheries biologist.
“If you catch a 20-inch cutthroat now it weighs on average twice as much as that same length fish would have weighed prior to the lake trout invasion,” he added. “These fish are much larger and much heavier, so the biomass here overall may actually be the same or surpass what we had prior to the lake trout invasion.”
Koel gave an annual online update on Yellowstone’s fisheries on May 18. In addition to Yellowstone Lake, he touched on the effects of last year’s historic flood, continued efforts to build native fish populations in remote waters to protect the species’ genetics while helping them survive climate change and the park’s continuing fight against invasive species.
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