Edited by Anna Alberini and James R. Kahn
Chapter 14: Valuing Wildlife at Risk from Exotic Invaders in Yellowstone Lake
Todd L. Cherry, Jason F. Shogren, Peter Frykblom and John A. List 14.1 Introduction In 1994, an angler caught a lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) in Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Judging by the size of the trout, and from subsequent data provided by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, biologists now believe that someone must have illegally planted lake trout in the lake some ﬁve years earlier. They blame humans for the introduction because natural movement of this non-native species into Yellowstone Lake is improbable. Based on catch and mortality rates, biologists now estimate that thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of lake trout of several age classes, some capable of spawning, live in Yellowstone Lake (Kaeding et al., 1995). Yellowstone Lake is a prime spot for lake trout to ﬂourish, because they thrive in the cold, deep water. But the problem is that Yellowstone Lake is the last premier inland cutthroat trout ﬁshery in North America. And after years of working to restore the native Yellowstone cutthroat trout (oncorhynchus clarki bouvieri) population back to viable levels, lake trout are putting the last cutthroat stronghold at risk. Experts have concluded that the lake trout population is likely to expand and cause a serious decline in the cutthroat population. If left unchecked, some biologists have predicted that these voracious exotic species could reduce the catchable-size cutthroat population to 250 000–500 000 from 2.5 million within the near future (Kaeding et al., 1995). Lake trout eat cutthroat, but they do not...
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