It takes a thief

  An eel-like parasite that devastated the lake trout population of the Great Lakes may one day swim in Yellowstone Lake. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it may consider introducing sterile sea lampreys to control invasive lake trout discovered there last summer (HCN, 9/19/94). "At at this point we're not ruling out any proposals," agency biologist Lynn Kaeding told the Associated Press. Unless they're eliminated, lake trout could gobble up native Yellowstone cutthroat, thereby wiping out an important food for grizzly bears, eagles and otters. Biologists say lampreys would target the lake trout for their large size and because both those fish prefer much greater depths than the cutthroat. Federal officials are also considering attaching radio transmitters to some lake trout, then poisoning or netting them in their spawning beds. Even the Department of Defense has a proposal: Wire the bottom of the lake with a grid and electrocute the intruders.

* Anders Halverson

High Country News Classifieds