For this blog post, pack six will be sharing a few of our public documents we either picked up along the way or snagged a picture of. All a public document is, is a matter of an open view that is shared with people through a written, drawn, electronic, or printed fashion. So, something as simple as a bumper sticker or a picture of a sign. There doesn’t even need to be words! If you like our public documents on our issue related to trout and other invasive aquatic species, feel free to use our hashtag to show us some public documents of your own!
When we think about the survival of our favorite species we sometimes do not consider the entire ecosystem. We learned throughout the trip that every species effects the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. Our Pack, Pack 6 has learned about how bears, otters, mink, osprey and other birds rely on spawning cutthroat trout for food. If the algae ceased to exisist bears, lake trout, birds, and otters would have to look for different food sources. This would have damaging effects on the Yellowstone ecosystem. This is why all native wildlife is important and must be protected. #packsixtroutfix
We chose this public document because the message it is trying to illustrate is the Whirling Disease and how it is not only effecting human’s but it is disrupting the ecosystem because of the fish. Fish are the total backbone to the Yellowstone ecosystem in regards to food. People and animals both feed on this animal and if the disease is getting caught by the fish, then all that eats it will catch the disease too.
This public document here is the feeding charts of all the trout. It tells you the different start to ends of feeding as well as the length that it needs to be. This sheet is one of the most important pieces of information to a fish hatcher!
This assignment is called Photographs as Visual Data because what we are doing here is taking 3-5 images that represent the issue our pack is dealing with. Along with any of the communities in which we conducted research. Since our topic is trout and other invasive aquatic life, it will be very apparent that a lot of our pictures will be of the water and the animals that live off that land!
If you have any pictures related to trout and other invasive aquatic life in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem feel free you post a pic on social media and use our hashtag so we can see!
We begin our photos as visual data with a picture of the Yellowstone Lake which is the main basin for our whole issue here. Yellowstone Lake is what hold the native cutthroat trout, yet lake trout have been over the past couple of decades eating the native fish. Which if you read our first blog post, you’ll know that because of the lack of cutthroat, other animals aren’t able to get their natural first source of food.
The next picture we have is when pack six went to the Jackson Hole Fish Hatchery the first day we were in town. Here, they raise and breed about 150,000 snake river trout in a years time. Due to the issue of the dams they have to restock the river every season. This image here is one of the treys the trout are grown in. If you can tell, the concrete is grey and the water is clear so you should be able to see the grey concrete walls, right? Well, normally yes, but the darkness in the picture are trout. So, this is a good representation of how sometimes if there is a shortage of trout in a particular river or lake, they can “hatch” them at this facility and put them back into the waters to help populations.
Our last and final picture, is a picture of an elk! Which might ask what does an elk have to do with trout? Well, an elk has actually a lot to do with trout. When I caught this picture we were as West Thumb about to see the geysers and he came walking up about 25 feet from us which made it really cool to see! Anyways, the reason this is such an important pictures is because due to the lack of cutthroat trout we are seeing in the Yellowstone Lake, bears are becoming more inclined to eat elk for their source of food which is starting to show a problem with the elk population. The lake trout are not only destroying the native cutthroat trout species of the Yellowstone Lake, they are hindering other animals as well.
Whats up #LU@YNP blog!
My name is Franklin Marrs im a rising Junior at Longwood University. I am a political Science major with a interest in getting a concentration in global politics. Im a member of the Longwood Politics club and the Fishing club. Going forward i am interested in political activism and ijust want to try and leave a positive mark somewhere on other people in the world. I have lived my entire life in rural, beautiful Orange Virginia. Ive always had a love and appreciation for the outdoors and the Longwood @ Yellowstone trip exceeded my wildest dreams. In my free time i enjoy fishing, canoeing, hunting, politics, reading, hiking and hanging out with my friends and brother. The perspective i gained on this trip was invaluable and one of a kind. I didnt know anyone going into this trip but it seemed like too good of an opportunity to pass up. The group was fantastic and the professors were kind, engaging, and insightful. I would highly recommend anyone to support or participate in this program.
What’s up everyone!
My name is Marc Mawyer and this is just a little bit about me!
I am an upcoming senior at Longwood where I study kinesiology with a concentration in exercise science and a minor in biology. At Longwood I am the captain of the division I cross country program, the president of the kinesiology academic fraternity, Phi Epsilon Kappa, and I am an active member of TriBeta- the biology academic fraternity, Sigma Alpha Pi- the national collegiate honors society, Mortarboard- the collegiate senior national honors society, as well as the student athlete advisory committee.
I currently reside in Richmond, VA with my family where I will be completing my internship this summer at Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center in cardiac rehabilitation. Some of my favorite activities outside of school and running is playing ultimate frisbee, riding bikes and long boards with my friends, snowboarding, hiking, and of course watching Netflix because who doesn’t like Netflix! I find my true passion at the beach, though. I have lived in the Outer Banks and it is my favorite place on the Earth. I am just a long haired, fun, interesting, outdoorsy, beach bummy kind of guy and getting this chance to go to Yellowstone with my Longwood peers has been such a great and enlightening experience and will be something I ALWAYS recommend to my fellow classmates for the years to come.
West Yellowstone. What a town! As we traveled from Gardiner to West Yellowstone, the snow started to pour which made for an interesting exploration. We got dropped off by the last building on the north part of down and began to make our exploration through the town. Our first initial views of the landscape/physical environment were that West Yellowstone was very old school and didn’t have much of the modern, urban look that Jackson did. The majority of the people we saw were hunters or residents. Making it feel more like a residential town than a tourist attraction. West Yellowstone had a lot of buildings lower to the ground due to the amount of snow they get each year. Something else that was interesting to see what that the roads were a slightly bit larger to allow for snow mobiles. Most of the towns revenue did come from tourist though that travel to west Yellowstone for a place to stay while they snowboard. They also had a lot of restaurants that were geared towards the tourist attraction. Nothing we saw was very high end besides the iMAX theatre that was there.
We started the exploration at a small rental shop called Yellowstone Vacation Rental. We met a man named Ryan and he was full of all types of great insight on the town. Ryan was originally from Big Sky, MT, he loves snowboarding and riding snowmobiles. Based on the snow that was falling as we were in the town, it made sense as to why there would be a snow mobile rental shop. Ryan explained to us that business is usually the same during the winter and summer seasons due to the fact he rents out winter vehicles such as snow mobiles and summer vehicles such as cars to vacationers. I asked him what would be the reason that would draw a vacationing family to this town rather than another town surrounding the park such as Gardiner and he explained that he came to West Yellowstone because of the surrounding cities. West Yellowstone is great because they’re a couple of cities that can provide people for fun activities that include both summer and winter. Ryan stated that everyone who lived in West Yellowstone were all very similar as in they were all outdoorsy but there was an obvious difference between two group of people, the hippies and the hunters. We asked him what the biggest issue with tourist were and he stated that the trash was the worst part about it all.
Next, we had time for one last interview with a woman named Katie from the local gift shop. We picked up pretty quickly the difference from this gift shop from the others. Obviously they all have similar items but this gift shop focused more on winter items instead of summer. There were mainly winter coats and other wilderness items which made it very interesting to see. We asked Katie a few questions about where she was from and what was the main issues she had with the town of West Yellowstone. She touched on the hunting regulations and how you can only hunt 9 miles outside of town which makes it hard for hunters who live in the area to find something decent to hunt. Yet, the main issue that she found was trying to find a place to live (very reoccurring theme) and that she lives in an RV for $125 a month.
For this blog post we are in Gardiner, Montana. Our place as text exploration was done on the days of May 19th and 20th.
First, on May 19, 2016, we talked to a few residents and workers in Gardiner. One person we interviewed was an employee at the gift shop across from k bar. We spoke to her on Friday afternoon. We found out some interesting things about her and her story speaks to the larger Gardiner economy as a whole. Gardiner is a small town with just around 875 residents usually. However, for four months of the year tourism explodes and people are frequently coming in and out of town. The lady we spoke to in the gift shop had taken a bus from Panama Beach, Florida to Gardiner to work during tourist season. Then, after tourist season ended she was going to take a bus back home to Florida. This is a good example of how many seasonal jobs in Gardiner are filled. There are not enough jobs in Gardiner year around so many people are just in the area for a few months. She also mentioned that housing was expensive and that part of their job entailed being set up in an apartment. The very high cost of living is something we have heard over and over and it can explain why there are so few year-round residents. Many people cannot afford to live in the area unless its provided by their seasonal job. We took away a few things from this. Gardiner is a different place during tourist season and the tourist bring in money and jobs. However, often these jobs are not filled by locals but out of town workers. The gift shop worker said these jobs were usually filled by young people and she had met others her age. She also said that her boss lived in Gardiner year around but many of her fellow employees did not.
On the next day, May 20th, 2016, we took on the streets of Gardiner and headed to a gas station across the street from our hotel around 9:45pm to talk to the local owner and her husband. Unfortunately, her husband had already left for the night so we just talked to her for the night, she did not want her name to be used. Her ideas on the Town of Gardiner and the hunting was that everything should be equal. She didn’t care if it was elk, bison, wolves, or bears should all be hunted the same because it’s ridiculous to have laws allowing for one animal to shot and one not to be. It really opened an insight to the three of us because that was the first time we had heard anything about the equality of the animals here in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. She stated that why would we harvest any of them when we can just save them. She really emphasized on the issue of the economy and place of living in the Gardiner area. Trying to find housing for her employees was incredibly difficult. Other companies have houses to give to their employees but she wasn’t able to do such a thing because they didn’t have the money to build more houses. Finding employees to work is without a doubt the biggest issue for most businesses and organizations in this community. She talked about how a lot of the structural designs of Gardiner is built the way it is because of the views and for other reasons we wouldn’t expect. We asked her what was the law on how big buildings can get and she said that it wasn’t a matter of how big they were and cutting off people’s views, it was the fact that when people tried to build bigger houses the sediments couldn’t hold underneath the house and they would fall. So, because of that you see a lot of wide based, 1-2 story houses and that’s about it. Overall, she was a fantastic woman to talk to and had great insight on the issues of Gardiner.
Pack 6 then went whitewater rafting with our larger group, and needless to say we all had an amazing time. Our guides, Josiah and Bob, were awesome guys that were able to share many stories with us as we paddled down the Yellowstone River. At the end of a cold, yet totally satisfying journey we were picked up by two interns from Purdue University. They were the same age as us and later in the evening we got a chance to get to know them a little better. Holly and Rohan are science majors spending the summer working for the Flying Pig, our whitewater outfitters. They all had both secured summer jobs with the rafting company, along with a few other summer interns. They were living in a house behind K bar and received small compensation on for their work on top of food and lodging. In Gardiner, summer internships and seasonal work are a common practice; while these two were students many other seasonal employees come from all over the states and even across oceans. Gardiner’s local residents are roughly 900 strong but they are unable to manage the towns massive tourist populations that come during the summer months so outside help is always welcome and often sought after. Rohan and Holly were nice enough to take us to their home that they are staying at for the summer so we can see what a house looks like structural in Gardiner. The first impression I had was that it was wood framed like the rest of the houses and not brick like most of the houses were back in our area of Virginia. The house was covered with windows and had a similar set up as all the other houses in Gardiner did, a style much different than the predominantly brick buildings of Virginia.
Today pack six traveled to the fish hatchery and studied multiple ways the hatcher’s raise and grow the native snake river cutthroat trout. They take the egg and sperm from both sexes of the trout, put them in a solution to help fertilize the eggs and in about 30 minutes, they are ready to go! At the hatchery the fish are kept in incubation treys until they are prepared for the pools they are kept in for their time at the hatchery. The pump produces anywhere from 1,000-1,500 gallons of water a minute. The fish hatchery provides the trout to a couple of different lakes and reservoirs throughout the Grand Teton area. This knowledge we have learned from being at the fish hatchery is valuable information for us to use for later on projects we will be conducting. Economically, I would say that this hatchery does a great amount of revenue for the Jackson area and Wyoming in general due to the lakes being filled with more fish, more people are paying to fish there.
Next, we migrated to Jenny Lake in the Grand Teton National Park. That was absolutely incredible! Such a pure and surreal piece of land. We had time to take an hour to ourselves to be able to look, smell, hear and sketch what we were observing and experiencing. Such a wonderful and enlightening experience. The aesthetics of everything you saw is what truly made it wonderful.
One of the most interesting and rewarding parts of the day was when we traveled to the biggest landslide in America, the Gros Ventre. We took a hike down a trail after lunch and experienced a mass amount of rock and slabs of slate that we got to climb and hike around! One of us even took a climb into a tree to overlook the lake.
Place as Text Exploration: Jackson Hole, WY.
To start, we will explain what a place as text exploration is. It’s a way for us to interview stakeholders around the towns we visit about the current issues or things they find problems with in their town. For our place as text in Jackson, WY, we got dropped off at the local recreation center at around 3:30 on Monday, May 16th here in Jackson Hole. There, we talked to two people named Amanda and Marty, both locals of Jackson Hole. We started asking questions about local tourism in the area, cost of living, and what you would like to see change in there town and what we got were very strong opinionated views towards these topics. Amanda explained to us how tourist are great in the summer but horrible in the winter. Reason being because tourist in the summers are of more money and want to spend it, yet the winter tourist are as she said, “bummy snowboarders” in a way and they are extremely cheap. Amanda and Marty both expressed strong feelings towards the cost of living in the town. They both work three jobs and do not live in the town of Jackson Hole and said that rent is just way to high and that they couldn’t afford it.
A few blocks away at a local restaurant named The Juicery we spoke briefly with the cashier and a little more in depth with a few residents. One of the most notable pieces of information given was that during tourist season the restaurant supplies chop sticks for the massive populations of Asian tourists. The other residents had interesting insight from diverse perspectives. The first was a mother that had lived within town for just over 20 years after living the first part of her life in New York. She and her sister had just gotten out of college when they decided to head out west and see what there was to offer. When here they fell in love with the landscape, and after getting jobs found housing and have lived there ever since. The other two have lived in the area for their entire lives and were a much younger couple. They agreed that tourism was incredibly important for the area, however their biggest problem was the highly increased traffic within town during the tourist season.
Lastly, we interviewed an older woman working at a local jewelry shop – her daughter and husband were the owners. She mentioned the very high cost of living in town and cited it as a reason she lived in Idaho. She commutes over 40 miles one way to work and it’s still more affordable than living in Jackson. Another thing she brought up was Jackson’s frequent use of out of town vendors. Additionally, 8-10 days a year Jackson brings in out of town vendors to provide for high levels of tourism. To achieve this Jackson lines up vendors on main streets and blocks off the other streets. When streets are blocked off for local vendors tourist do not venture down the other streets. The owner mentioned that businesses in Jackson have 4 months of tourist season to make money and those 10 days of out of town vendors hurt this. This shows that although Jackson relies on tourism there is still a rift between the business community and store owners. Everyone agreed tourism is important but there are disagreements on how to go about it. Local residents that rely on tourism feel squeezed by tourism and Jackson’s government. Overall the day’s explorations were incredibly informative in understanding the people’s views.
Remember to check out our issue on invasive trout in the Yellowstone Lake!
— Barrett, Franklin, and Marc
What is the best ecological method for removal of lake trout in the Yellowstone National Park Lakes?
The largest body of water in the Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone Lake, was once home to multiple fish species which brought great enjoyment to visiting anglers. However in the late 1980’s either by accident or intention the introduction of a non-native species, Lake Trout, began to damage native fish populations. Through predation and overcrowding the Lake Trout has decimated natives leaving only itself and the Cutthroat Trout in the lake. This shift in biodiversity has left the local ecosystem in chaos.
Lake trout are nearly double the size of the cutthroat species and are pisciviorous (meaning they eat other fish). This doesn’t seem like a major problem except that Lake Trout spend more time in deeper waters which puts additional pressure on Cutthroat from predators. In a way, the Cutthroat are being attacked and eaten from above and below. The decrease in Cutthroat has also made it harder for bears and osprey to get enough nutrients thus leading those species moving further from their typical habitat to find food.
When lake trout got introduced into the Yellowstone Lake, biologists knew that it was going to be a huge problem due to the fact that they’ve seen what Lake Trout have done to species in other lakes. Before the introduction of Lake Trout there were roughly 4 million Cutthroat Trout but after the infestation of Lake Trout that number steadily decreased to nearly 400,000 and the Lake Trout has just been increasing in numbers. Efforts such as gillnetting have shown to be the most promising way to get rid of the invasive fish. Gillnetting is when there are boats out in the lake with miles of net and they work all day trying to catch these fish deep down in the waters.
Approximately 1.7 million Lake Trout have been removed with gillnetting but the downside is they can be removing Cutthroat Trout as well with this process. In total with gillnetting, Yellowstone spends nearly $2 million a year to be able to keep this an ongoing thing and it will an ongoing event because it will be practically impossible to remove all Lake Trout. As time progresses new ways are being designed to help reduce the effects of Lake Trout. Techniques such as targeting Lake Trout eggs with electricity, to even using chemical toxins. So, we would like to ask you – what do you think is the best ecological method to remove Lake Trout from Yellowstone Lake?
Questions to be answered:
How did lake trout get into Yellowstone Lake?
Why is it a problem to have Lake Trout in Yellowstone Lake?
What role do Cutthroat Trout play in the Yellowstone ecosystem?
What methods are used to remove Lake Trout from Yellowstone?
What are the challenges of removing the Lake Trout?
Has the removal of Lake Trout been effective?
What steps must be take going forward to protect Cutthroat trout?
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