Make Way For The Bull Trout

Bull trout Conservation Project

Non-native fish species in Glacier National Park lakes will continue to be removed to make room for the threatened Bull Trout, the National Park Service confirmed this week.

Representatives signed off on an agreement to move forward on lake trout suppression projects — which began in 2009 — on Quartz Lake and to begin lake trout removal and bull trout conservation in the North Fork District.

About one-third of the nation’s bull trout reside in Glacier National Park and the park plays an important role in maintaining these fish. The recently approved project, the agency says, will help protect the park’s bull trout population as well as maintain Quartz and Logging Lakes as important, high elevation habitat for native fish species — including many that face extinction from climate change.

Any Downsides To A Large Scale Conservation Project In A National Park?

The decision to continue the project followed a formal environmental analysis and review process, which park representatives say confirmed that the beneficial impact to the bull trout outweigh any potential negative environmental impacts.

When the results of the environmental analysis were released last December, the park received 25 letters from the public, which were considered in the decision to approve the project. The majority of the letters expressed support for the project. The six letters expressed opposition mainly addressed concern over the impact to the park’s wilderness, since motorboats will be used to complete the project.

More About The Bull Trout:

The bull trout once filled lakes and streams across Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Idaho and Montana. They are picky fish, however, with specific habitat requirements. Bull trout need cold, very clean water for spawning and rearing and prefer complex habitats, like streams with deep pools and large logs.

With water temperatures rising and river and lakes becoming more and more polluted, their pristine habitats are dwindling, along with the the bull frog population itself.

Protecting and restoring the bull trout, environmentalists say, translates to preserving the water quality of our lakes and streams. Sounds like a win win to us.

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