With geyser basins, broad mountain faces and lodgepole pine stands as a backdrop, picture commercial fisherman afloat on pristine Yellowstone Lake grinding up thousands of salmonid carcasses, then depositing the chunks of rotting flesh on eggs below to kill yet more fish.
It’s a scene, undoubtedly, that on its face is incongruent with Yellowstone, the world’s first national park and a landscape where natural processes are supposed to rule the day, unencumbered by human interference.
But using lake trout carcasses to kill their spawn has been perhaps the most promising technique to date used on Yellowstone Lake to kill the picivorous exotic char before they grow into swimming organisms that take a toll on native cutthroat trout. Click on the following paragraph to access the full story.
Yellowstone Fisheries Supervisor Todd Koel came up with the idea to use lake trout carcasses to kill their own spawn — a method that’s never been tried before. “We were just trying to create an extremely negative environment for lake trout embryos to survive, and one idea was to use carcasses,” Koel said. “They caught 350,000-plus this year, and we dump them back into the lake anyway.” So far, in the experimental phase, the tactic has worked.