A new study shows that the decline in native cutthroat trout has had dramatic impacts on the migratory elk herds in the Greater Yellowstone Area.
Lead Researcher Arthur Middleton and others were studying the decline of elk herds in the region, and they determined that grizzly bears were playing a greater role in those deaths than they realized.
The illegal introduction of lake trout into Yellowstone Lake has harmed the cutthroat trout population.
The cutthroat trout population in the Hoback River in the Bridger-Teton National Forest has rebounded since the Wyoming Game and Fish Department stopped stocking the river in 2005.
Fisheries Biologist Diana Miller says the state had been supplying the river with trout for 50 years prior, because biologists believed the species wasn’t weathering the harsh winters and ice there.
“What we believed happen was when we were putting fish into the river, the hatchery fish were taking up all of the space and all of the food that wild fish could have been utilizing.”