WEST GLACIER, MONT. –The Continued Lake Trout Suppression on Quartz Lake, and Lake Trout Removal and Bull Trout Conservation in the Logging Lake Drainage Environmental Assessment by Glacier National Park is available for public review and comment. Comments are due January 22, 2014.
Glacier National Park is proposing to continue lake trout suppression on Quartz Lake and begin lake trout removal and bull trout conservation on Logging Lake to protect bull trout and other native fish. Both lakes are located in the northwest portion of the park, in the North Fork District.
The park’s bull trout populations are increasingly at risk due to invasive non-native lake trout. On the west side of the park, lake trout have invaded nine of twelve lakes to which they have access and are known to have severe negative effects on the survival of native fish populations. Two of the park’s premier bull trout supporting lakes, Quartz Lake and Logging Lake, are at risk of losing their historically robust bull trout populations to non-native invasive lake trout.
Climate change could compound these challenges, as changes in stream flow combined with warmer water temperatures will likely stress bull trout and other native fish and favor invasive non-native species.
Approximately one-third of the United State’s bull trout populations inhabiting natural, undammed lake systems are found in Glacier National Park. The park has a critical role in regional bull trout recovery and long-term conservation.
In 2009, the park and the U.S. Geological Survey began an experimental project on Quartz Lake to reduce or eliminate lake trout. Results from the project have been promising. Because of its once vigorous bull trout population, Logging Lake is also a high priority for bull trout conservation. Experimental lake trout suppression at both lakes could do much to protect the park’s bull trout populations for the long term, as well as contribute to the species’ regional recovery.
Four alternatives are analyzed in the environmental assessment:
- Alternative A- No Action,
- Alternative B- Continue Lake Trout Suppression at Quartz Lake,
- Alternative C- Remove Lake Trout and Conserve Bull Trout in the Logging Lake Drainage, and
- Alternative D- Combine Alternatives B and C.
The environmental assessment is available through the park’s planning web site at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/LoggingQuartz. Comments can be made directly through the web site or by writing to: Superintendent, Glacier National Park, Attn: Logging/Quartz EA, PO Box 128 West Glacier, Montana 59936. Comments are due by January 22. For more information contact the park at 406-888-7800.