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Yellowstone Workers Kill Over 1 Million Fish, Toss Them Back in Lake

yellowstone lake
Photo courtesy of Social Geek/Flickr

By now, the Lake trout swimming in Yellowstone Lake are used to constant slaughter. In 2012 alone, Yellowstone National Park trapped and killed over 300,000 lake trout in an effort make the lake more habitable for native species.

According to park spokesman Dan Hottle, the purpose for purging is Montana’s native cutthroat trout. As it turns out, lake trout find cutthroats delectable, and the combination of predation and whirling disease has hit the cutthroat population hard in past years.

Yellowstone National Park has been netting and trapping lake trout since 1994 when the fish were first discovered and, with increased lake trout killings in 2012, the cutthroat population is showing strong signs of recovery.

Since 1994, approximately 1.1 million lake trout have been trapped and killed. When asked what the park does with the fish, Hottle responded by saying “we pop their air sacks and throw them back in the lake so the lake chemistry stays the same.”



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