COC Grant - Yellowstone Lake

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LabRat
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Location: Round Rock, TX
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COC Grant - Yellowstone Lake

Post by LabRat » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:46 pm

GRTU has received a grant request from David Sweet and the Wyoming state council to assist with the funding of telemetry equipment to study the movements and spawning areas of Lake Trout in Yellowstone Lake.

Lake Trout were illegally introduced to the Yellowstone Lake system at least a decade ago. They are aggressive predators and have taken a fearful toll on the native population of Yellowstone Cutthroat trout in the Yellowstone system. This core population is one of the best remaining genetically pure populations of this species, and critical to the efforts to re-establish them in their historic watersheds.

Estimates are that we have lost 90% of the Yellowstone Cutthroat population. The main culprit has been predation by the Lake Trout. The overall effort to reduce the Lake Trout population has been underway for about 4 years, and has included commercial netting of the fish. This has been helpful in managing the population, but the telemetry studies are recommended by scientists to better direct the netting activity, and also to identify Lake Trout spawning beds to reduce the recruitment of more of these predators.

In addition to affecting the Yellowstone Cutthroat fishery, the decline has lead to a implosion of the ecosystem that depends on the cutts' spawning runs into the rivers and tributaries of Yellowstone Lake. Predators like bears, foxes, ospreys, eagles, and many others depend on the cutthroats in the same way that ecosystems in the west are fueled by salmon.

The overall project will cost nearly $500k, the majority of that coming from large grants. TU has taken on the task of the telemetry study, which will cost about $87K. Nearly $60K has already been raised. GRTU has been asked to fund $3k, which is in line with the Coldwater Conservation Outreach Fund guidelines.

Timing is critical, as equipment needs t be purchased and in place by early June when ice-out occurs to allow the maximum time for study. This issue was first discussed by the board of directors at our January meeting. David Sweet joined a special board meeting held last night to answer questions about the proposal.

Because of the need to move with alacrity, the board approved the proposal.

This would be the 6th COCF project funded by GRTU, and extends our position as one of the premier chapters fighting the good fight of cold water conservation. We were the first chapter to contribute to the Save Bristol Bay effort, and are recognized for our conservation efforts by all of the leaders at the national level including TU CEO Chris Wood.
Mark Dillow

LabRat
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 8:44 pm
Location: Round Rock, TX
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Re: COC Grant - Yellowstone Lake

Post by LabRat » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:16 pm

More info on this worthwhile project...http://county10.com/2012/03/07/lander-a ... p-is-told/
Mark Dillow

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