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Lasers helping restore cutthroat trout to Yellowstone National Park

Posted at 4:29 PM, May 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 14:55:25-04

BOZEMAN – A Montana State University Professor Joseph Shaw has developed a laser technology to locate unwanted fish in Yellowstone National Park.

The laser device can sport clusters of two or more trout about 26 feet deep in the water. The laser is harmless and is used specifically for locating non-native fish such as lake trout that have invaded the water.

Once researchers spot the trout, the information is relayed the park in order for gill netting.

Shaw said he developed the laser after hearing how lake trout have taken over the park’s lake. He said the purpose of the laser is to help the native cutthroat trout by locating and reducing its predators. He said bears, eagles, and otters eat cutthroat trout because they don’t swim as deep as the lake trout.

“Right now one of the major primary sources of protein for those animals is the cutthroat trout. The lake trout cannot fill that hole, so if they kill off the cutthroat trout then the whole ecosystem becomes unbalanced,” said Shaw.

Reporting by Mederios Babb fpr MTN News