Cutthroat Trout Management Concepts Cutthroat Trout Management










Social Aspects

Throughout history men and women took refuge in the country to escape the city. The 19th century composer Schubert practiced this belief at least in his music. Die forlle is a German Lieder that he composed about a trout.

Schubert, Die Forelle (1817)

In einem Bachlein helle,    In a bright little stream
Da shoss in froher Eil’      the good natured trout
Die launische Forelle       darted about in joyous haste
Voruber wie ein Pfeil.    like an arrow.
Ich stand an dem Gestade       I stood on the bank
Und sah in Susser Ruh’       and watched in sweet repose
Des muntern Fishcleins    Bade the bath of the lively little fish
Im klaren Bachlein zu.         in the clear water.
(last two lines repeated)  
Ein Fischer mit der Rute        A fisherman with his rod
Wohl an dem Ufer also stood on the bank
Und sa’s mit kaltem Blute,          and cold-bloodedly watched
Wie sich das Fischlein wand.             the little fish swimming to and fro.
So lang’ dem Wasser Helle,       As long as the water stays clear,
So dacht, ich, nicht gebricht,  I thought, he won’t
So fangt er die Forelle         catch the trout
Mit seiner Angel nicht.      with his rod.
(last two lines repeated)  
Doch endlich ward dem Diebe       But finally the wait grew too long
Die zeit zu lang. Er macht           for the theif. He made
Das Bachlein tuckisch trube,    the brook all muddy,
Und eh’ ich es gedacht,   and before he knew it,
So zuckte seine Rute,    his rod quivered,
Das Fischlein zappelt dran,     the little fish wriggled at its end,
Und ich mit regem Blute           and I, my blood boiling,
Sah die Betrog’ne an.    gazed at the betrayed one.
(last two lines repeated)  
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The issue of the introduced lake trout into Yellowstone Lake has come to be known and appreciated by local fisherman. Montanan Ryan Grady Sample wrote an article in Newsweek discussing the issue and his views about it. In the article he states that most fisherman wouldn’t mind that a larger fish is available to catch. However, he knows that the lake trout can be very harmful to the ecosystem of the lake and ought to be dealt with. He addresses that the lake trout eat the smaller cutthroat and that if the cutthroat population is diminished then the land animals that depend on them for food will suffer as well as the trout themselves. He also states that Yellowstone Lake is one of the last great natural fisheries that can still be saved for future generations to enjoy. (Sample, Ryan Grady, Newsweek, January 11, 1999, i2, p.14)

When Yellowstone National Park first opened, it had very few visitors. To encourage visitors to come to the park, lakes were stocked with exotic fish. Needless to say these introduced species drastically changed the natural ecosystem of the park’s fisheries. Bait fishing was also permitted in the early years of the park. This resulted in even more introduced species when fishermen would dump the remaining bait into the lakes and rivers at the end of the day. (Paul Schullery, A reasonable solution) These events listed above demonstrate the mentality of the people at the time. They believed that fisheries were a limitless resource and could withstand anything. Commercial fishing that supplied local hotels with trout and supplied outside companies was legal until 1919. Furthermore fishing contests were encouraged and they brought in visitors. In 1914 Edward Hewit was challenged to a fishing match with a local commercial fisherman. Hewit caught 162 fish and his opponent caught 165 fish. (Schullery A Reasonable Solution) The inexhaustible resource was being exhausted until policy changed to catch and release fishing only.

Only 85 of Yellowstone's 220 lakes contained fish when the park was first established. These barren lakes were stocked with native and exotic fish in order to attract visitors. With the National Park being created to preserve and protect lands and try to restore them to their original state, the issue of removing the fish from these originally barren lakes has arisen. Several organizations dealing with issues like this have been established. Trout Unlimited, National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife, Biodiversity Legal Foundation, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, and Montana Ecosystems Defense Council are a few. People have come to the park for generations in order to fish in the many lakes. Is it right to take away these fishing waters from the public who has grown accustomed to having them? What would the effect on the new ecosystems be if the fish were removed?