Brett French reports: Yellowstone cutthroat trout growing bigger
By angelamontana

Posted: May 25, 2023

Thanks to intensive netting efforts that have knocked down invasive lake trout populations in Yellowstone Lake, the native cutthroat trout are growing bigger. “If you catch a 20-inch cutthroat now it weighs on average twice as much as that same length fish would have weighed prior to the lake trout invasion,” Todd Koel, Yellowstone’s lead fisheries biologist, said in a recent online update. “These fish are much larger and much heavier, so the biomass here overall may actually be the same or surpass what we had prior to the lake trout invasion.” Lake trout netting began in 1995. Since then, more than 4.3 million lake trout have been removed from the lake. The cutthroat population is important because it supports other species in the park, including eagles, hawks and bears. Lake trout live in deep waters making them inaccessible to these species. To learn more about the Yellowstone fishery, and the cutthroat rebound, check out my story at

Written by Brett French | Outdoors editor | Billings Gazette

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