Idaho Fish and Game has contracted with a company to net lake trout in Stanley Lake for 10 days in early May 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 second year of a three-year project and is the first netting event of 2021.
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 fishery 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 occur in the fall with fish from Fish and Game's Grace Fish Hatchery. To provide opportunity for larger fish, sterile adult lake trout will be transplanted from Bear Lake in Southeast Idaho in mid-June.
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.