Study Finds Lake Trout Impacts Surrounding Ecosystems Not Just Yellowstone Lake

Mar 29, 2019

Credit Public Domain

It turns out the impacts of the invasive species Lake Trout have larger impacts than previously thought. That's according to a recent study published in the scientific journal, Science Advances.

Lush Tronstad is a research scientist at the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database at the University of Wyoming and is a co-author of the study. She said previously it was thought that invasive species just affect the area it had invaded -- so, in this case, Yellowstone Lake.

"But it's affecting a lot of animals outside the lake: bears, eagle's, osprey and things like that. No one has showed that before, that there are quite large impacts outside of the [Yellowstone] lake," said Tronstad.

Tronstad said the most impacted terrestrial animal that they measured was osprey. They are having to fly a lot further to find food and have very low nest success. But she said there is some hope for optimism. There has been success removing lake trout from the lake and reintroducing cutthroat trout. So, she said, one day these links can exist again.