TELL FWP YOU SUPPORT CONTINUED NETTING OF LAKE TROUT AT SWAN LAKE IN ORDER TO PROTECT BULL TROUT AND OTHER SPORTFISH!
Fish Wildlife and Parks has prepared an environmental analysis that recommends continuing a program to reduce non-native, predacious lake trout at Swan Lake in order to protect one of the nation’s most important bull trout populations as well as an important sport fishery for kokanee salmon.
TU members and other anglers from across Montana need to tell FWP they support netting efforts at Swan Lake because it has great promise for protecting bull trout in Swan Lake and the Swan River watershed. Success in this project will also provide valuable insight for similar efforts to reduce the harmful effects lake trout are having on native trout elsewhere, including in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.
Email Leo Rosenthal (Region 1 Fisheries Biologist) at firstname.lastname@example.org TODAY, OR no later than June15, and simply tell him in your own words:
- You support continued suppression of lake trout in Swan Lake.
- You greatly appreciate the work done by FWP and its partners thus far and that too much good progress has been made to stop now.
- You support alternative B in the current Draft Environmental Assessment for the Extention of Lake Trout Removal in Swan Lake but that the recommended suppression efforts should cover a 10-year time period, subject to a review after five years.
If you have experience catching bull trout anywhere, especially in the Swan watershed, tell him.
Non-native lake trout were first detected in Swan Lake in 1998. Since then, FWP has documented a significant reduction in bull trout spawning activity in the Swan watershed, indicating the decline in population of these native fish. Every water in the West where lake trout occur with native trout has resulted in serious declines in bull trout and cutthroat populations. In 2004 a collaborative group that includes FWP and Montana TU formed to address the growing problem at Swan Lake.
In 2007-08, a rigorous population survey was performed leading to a three-year experimental suppression effort from 2009-2012 that focused on gillnetting both juvenile and spawning lake trout. The results so far hold great promise. Between 5,000-10,000 lake trout were removed from Swan Lake annually – a level that scientists indicate if continued could result in significantly reduced predation on bull trout. At the same time, additional research continues on testing less costly alternative methods other than gillnetting.
Continued netting on Swan Lake will further reduce lake trout populations and allow researchers to measure how bull trout and kokanee respond. This is an extraordinarily critical effort that could benefit native trout in Northwest Montana as well as yield important information for similar projects throughout the West.
The full Environmental Assessment can be viewed here.
Don’t delay, contact Region 1 TODAY!
Again contact Leo Rosenthal at email@example.com and tell him you support continuing experimental netting of lake trout at Swan Lake.
If you prefer snail mail, write:
Leo Rosenthal, Fisheries Biologist
FWP, Region 1
490 North Meridian Road
Kalispell, MT 59901
Thank you for taking the time to provide important comments to FWP
Montana Trout Unlimited