Letters 5.8.13

By on May 8, 2013

The recent JH Weekly article related
numerous accounts, primarily from a
Yellowstone National Park biologist,
which are clearly wrong and unfounded.
• Over 40 native species are supposedly known or believed to feed on native
cutts, and thus adversely impacted by
lake trout. Squirrels, chipmunks, mice,
etc. Really?!
• 600 lake trout stomachs from Yellowstone Lake were supposedly analyzed
and reported, not “theoretical” results.
NOT TRUE. – the actual 2003/2004 reports are specifically theoretical. There
was no public report of actual stomach
contents by that Utah State student after
his analysis of 418 stomachs. None. Unlike very detailed and professional
Grand Teton National park reports.
• Lake trout can go for decades without eating, lying in wait for a cutthroat
trout resurgence due to “predator inertia.” Really?!
• The Chittenden histories confirming
successful lake trout stocking in Yellowstone Lake were written in five editions
over 10 years from 1895 to 1905. Close to
the scene.
• Heart Lake does indeed have very
large cutts. My last fish in October was a
25-inch football cutthroat. Even your
friend Nate Schweber – who has worked
aggressively with park biologists to demonize lake trout – notes that Heart
Lake is “home to an incredible native
cutthroat trout fishery” They are not
small cutthroats.
• The otolith “science” on the alleged
Lewis Lake illegal stocking is anything
but persuasive science. Only three fish
were dated on strontium level changes,
for an 89,000 acre lake. One was dated to
1996, years after the alleged stocking,
the other two were dated to 1988, the
same year as the immense fires that
were acknowledged to have changed the
lake chemistry. Hardly proof of an illegal
stocking that does not make sense in the
first place!
Science matters. Objective and impartial and professional. Not a biologist aggressively promoting a campaign where
she has been a big promoter for years.
We do have faith in you, Dave, as chief
scientist, to get it right with integrity.
At the forthcoming get-together, people can say what they want. But, I truly
hope that the focus of all involved is on
POSITIVE measures to help restore native cutthroat populations and to add
objective science studies, not just aggressive déjà vu defenses for killing wild
– Peter F. Moyer

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