Idaho Fish and Game has contracted with a company to net lake trout in Stanley Lake during two-weeks in early August to reduce their population and reduce risk to endangered sockeye salmon populations. After the netting, sterile lake trout will be restocked in the summer and fall to continue to provide anglers a lake trout fishery at Stanley Lake. This is the first year of a three-year project, and the second netting event of 2020.
Lake trout are mostly predatory fish that feed on smaller fish, such as kokanee salmon and young sockeye. In other lake and river systems across the West, lake trout have also migrated long distances and colonized connected lakes. Lake trout in Stanley Lake are currently reproducing, and therefore pose a risk to establishing populations in nearby waters.
Fish and Game fisheries managers will restock sterile lake trout to maintain fishing opportunity while also reducing the risk of lake trout reproducing and colonizing nearby waters. Stocking sterile young lake trout will start during summer with fish from Fish and Game’s Grace Fish Hatchery. To provide immediate opportunity for trophy-sized fish, sterile adult fish will be transplanted from Bear Lake in Southeast Idaho.
In 2017, Fish and Game formed an advisory committee made up of local anglers, fishing guides, business owners, US Forest Service staff, and Fish and Game biologists. Over the course of several meetings, the committee developed the Stanley Lake Fisheries Management Plan, which outlines steps to balance lake trout fishing opportunity with risk reduction to sockeye in the Upper Salmon River and Sawtooth Valley lakes.
Funding for the project was provided by a grant from the Pacific Coast Salmon Recovery Fund.
For more information about the project and the Stanley Lake Management Plan, call Greg Schoby or Kayden Estep at Fish and Game’s Salmon Regional Office (208) 756-2271.