On The Lamar River The Cutthroats are Thriving

DSC_0097Over the weekend of September 14, 15, 2014, I fished the Lamar River in Yellowstone National Park for two solid days.  I am pleased to report that within the Lamar, the cutthroat trout are thriving, especially in the river section running from the mouth of Soda Butte Creek to the rock-strewn canyon just east of Slough Creek.  I’ve fished the Lamar for almost fifteen years and this year is, hands-down, the best fishing year I’ve ever had on the river.  Besides large numbers of cutts, the population of cutthroat is diverse – I netted smallish eight-inch fish as well as thick, strong 18″ brutes.  Years ago, I caught either all big fish or only a handful of fish.  But this year, I caught small, medium, and large fish and plenty of them.  The other positive news to report – invasive rainbow trout are hard to find in the river.  Again, in the past decade, on any given day of fishing, I would net several cuttbows and rainbows.  Now, it’s rare to catch those two species.  Undoubtedly, the Park Service’s cutthroat recovery program is working on the Lamar.  The recovery program is also working elsewhere in the park, especially within Yellowstone Lake, where lake trout predation had caused the cutthroat trout population to plummet.  The folks in the Park Service deserve praise for successfully sustaining the park’s cutthroat population – the Feds are doing good work in YNP.

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