Trout

Comments sought on removing Glacier National Park lake trout

2013-12-21T20:00:00Z 2014-05-19T19:02:49Z Comments sought on removing Glacier National Park lake trout missoulian.com

WEST GLACIER – Glacier National Park is home to approximately one-third of the nation’s bull trout population that lives in natural, undammed lake systems.

That gives the park a critical role in regional bull trout recovery and long-term conservation, according to Glacier management assistant Denise Germann.

To that end, proposals to continue lake trout suppression on Quartz Lake and start lake trout removal on Logging Lake are now available for public review and comment.

Comments on the environmental assessment are due Jan. 22.

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The non-native lake trout, which have invaded nine of 12 lakes they can access on the west side of the park, can wreak havoc with native fish populations.

“Two of the park’s premier bull trout-supporting lakes, Quartz Lake and Logging Lake, are at risk of losing their historically robust bull trout populations to non-native invasive lake trout,” Germann says.

Making matters even more challenging, she adds, is climate change, which is bringing about warmer water temperatures and changing in-stream flows.

Both favor lake trout, and put added stress on bull trout.

The park and the U.S. Geological Survey started an experimental project on Quartz Lake to reduce or eliminate lake trout in 2009. The proposal seeks to continue that, and begin measures at Logging Lake, which once had a “vigorous” bull trout population.

“Experimental lake trout suppression at both lakes could do much to protect the park’s bull trout populations for the long term, as well as contribute to the species’ regional recovery,” the park said as it put the environmental assessment out for public consumption.

The EA analyzes four alternatives: doing nothing, continuing lake trout suppression at Quartz Lake, removing lake trout and conserving bull trout in the Logging Lake drainage, and combining the latter two.

A combined effort is the preferred alternative, according to Glacier officials.

The environmental assessment is available through the park’s planning website at www.parkplanning.nps. gov/LoggingQuartz.

Reporter Vince Devlin can be reached at 1-800-366-7186 or by email at vdevlin@missoulian.com.

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(2) Comments

  1. Leadfoot
    Report Abuse
    Leadfoot - December 22, 2013 3:19 pm
    Fish & Game have totally messed up the fish population of Flathead Lake. They alone. Nothing that they have done has either improved the fishing enjoyment of the lake or corrected what they consider an inferior fish population. They are in love with Bull Trout. Ask one fisherperson if they care. They don't. Stop wasting our tax dollars doing what you did with the wolf and just apprehender the law breakers. Clear out the Bull Trout competitors & some idiot will will just slip them back into the lake. It is not humanly possible to prevent this from happening. In the mean time, the F&G Flathead Lake algae experiment changed the entire fish ecosystem of the lake. No perch for children to catch. Oh, I forgot, the Lake Trout ate them all. I suspect that Lake Trout were introduced into Flathead as an experiment in the 50's or 60's by F & G. No? That is exactly what happened to Yellowstone Lake. Fishermen didn't do it as Park Officials originally claimed for decades. It was done by the Park Service, itself, as an official program. A failed experiment soon conveniently forgotten. Now, there are almost no Cutthroat Trout in Yellowstone Lake. They could be caught by the dozens FROM SHORE in the 70's & early 80's. The Polson Lake Trout Fishing Contest on Flathead Lake, absolutely no limits, etc haven't touched the Lake Trout numbers. This is OUR country....not yours. Stop wasting our tax dollars and just enforce the game laws. That isn't enough fun for you, so a wild-hair single County Sheriff takes it upon himself to run a boat on Flathead to hassle the extremely few boaters having fun without one iota of evidence that such heavy-handed enforcement was necessary. Insignificant accidents or deaths, etc. He was soon given an official boat & repeatedly stopped the same boaters until an outcry from the public ended this heavy-handed tactic. Do the same thing for our fisheries. If you want Bull Trout, put them in a single lake that you can cleanup & protect. Then, this lake will be left alone & no one will use it because no one wants to catch Bull Trout. It would be a shining example of what F&G can do when allowed to waste tax dollars to the Max. Leave the rest of us alone. Remember, those huge tax dollars from the sale of fishing & hunting equipment aren't yours. Those fish aren't yours. They belong to us. All of us.
  2. mememine69
    Report Abuse
    mememine69 - December 21, 2013 8:13 pm
    "climate variation" not change.
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