FWP Proposes Electrofishing Study to Kill Nonnative Lake Trout Eggs in Swan Lake

By Beacon Staff

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP), Region 1, has written a draft environmental assessment (EA) proposing to conduct a three-year study to assess the effectiveness of using modified electrofishing equipment to destroy nonnative lake trout eggs and embryos in Swan Lake, Montana. Information obtained from the proposed study will help determine the feasibility and effectiveness of alternatives for managing the lake trout population in Swan Lake.

Lake trout were first detected in Swan Lake in 1998. The lake trout population has increased over time and represents a considerable threat to the popular kokanee and bull trout fisheries. Previous research efforts in Swan Lake have investigated the size and age structure of the lake trout population, and a current project examines the use of gillnetting as a tool to reduce lake trout numbers. The proposed study investigates the use of a common fisheries application (electrofishing) as a potential tool to assist fishery managers with alternative ways to control lake trout at earlier life stages.

The draft EA is available on the FWP web site by clicking here or visiting our website at fwp.mt.gov and clicking on News and then Public Notices. Copies may be requested at the FWP headquarters office, 490 N Meridian Road, Kalispell. A copy is available for viewing at the Montana State Library, 1515 E 6th Ave., Helena; the Flathead County Libraries at 247 1st Avenue East in Kalispell, and at 521 Electric Avenue in Bigfork; and Swan Lake Trading Post in the town of Swan Lake. The draft may also be viewed at the Swan Ecosystem Center, 6887 Highway 83, in Condon.

The draft will be out for public review through Thursday, September 29, 2011. Written comments must be postmarked by September 29, 2011. Please direct your questions or comments to {encode=”[email protected]” title=”Leo Rosenthal”}, fisheries biologist, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, 490 N. Meridian Rd., Kalispell, MT 59901, 751-4548, or e-mail [email protected].

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