Cutthroat Trout Essay

2064 Words 9 Pages
In Yellowstone National Park, there are more than 11 native fish species in the waterways, with the Yellowstone cutthroat trout historically being the most abundant fish in the park (NPS, n.d.). The cutthroat has been the dominate fish species in this area for hundreds of years, being fished by both the Native Americans who lived in this area and the wildlife. This fish is an integral part of Yellowstone’s ecosystem because they are relied upon as a keystone food source for birds, bears, river otters, wolves and other mammals inhabiting Yellowstone. Because cutthroat trout spawn in shallow rivers upstream like salmon, they are easy to catch and consume by mammals and birds. This food source is crucial to ensure the continuation of other species. Bears, wolves and large prey birds are less likely to hunt for smaller prey or juvenile animals if …show more content…
They knew there would be no way to completely eradicate lake trout, but if no steps were taken for reducing the lake trout, it was estimated that cutthroat could be eliminated by up to 70% in 100 years (Duncan, Murphy, & Zale, 2009). They started to look at measures which could be taken for controlling the population. At a workshop in 1995, scientists determined that the use of gill netting as a method of gathering information that was needed for determining effective management in reducing lake trout population structure (Duncan, Murphy, & Zale, 2009). With gill netting, they could monitor how many lake trout was reproducing, what their diet consisted of and their habitat structure. Gill netting also provided a way of reducing the population, because when a lake trout was harvested they were killed instead of being released back into the lake. Gill netting has been the proven method for harvesting lake trout over 20 years (Ruzycki, Beauchamp, & Yule,

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