Plans eyed to remove lake trout in Flathead Lake

FLATHEAD COUNTY

Associated Press
POSTED: 10:36 AM Feb 25 2013   UPDATED: 10:37 AM Feb 25 2013
LAKE TROUT
KALISPELL, Mont. -

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes say anglers aren't catching enough non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake to make any headway in reducing the population.
    
CSKT fisheries biologist Barry Hansen says that the lake contains about a million lake trout despite two fishing tournaments that annually yank out 50,000 fish, and recreational fishing that catches another 20,000.
    
Hansen says that's about 13,000 below what's needed to see declines in the lake trout population.
    
The tribes are creating a draft environmental impact statement to reduce lake trout numbers with the objective of eliminating enough of the predatory fish to make the lake more survivable for native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout.
    
Some options besides angling the tribes are considering include gill netting, bounties, commercial fishing and commercial netting.