Biologists Use Laser Radar to Count Yellowstone's Lake Trout

December 27, 2004 By: Marshall Cutchin

Montana State University researchers strapped a laser radar and camera to the bottom of their plane and took photos of groups of spawning, non-native lake trout that threaten the native cutthroat trout population in Yellowstone Lake. “This fall, Shaw and Seldomridge flew 500 feet above the lake’s West Thumb area, where fisheries biologists had indicated they would find schools of spawning fish, said Seldomridge, a graduate student in electrical engineering from Colorado. Lake trout usually spend their days 30 meters deep where lidar cannot penetrate because of murky water, he said. But during September’s spawning season, the fish swim in about 10 meters of water.” Jean Arthur in the Bozeman (Montana) Daily Chronicle.