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Effects of the wildfire on growth of cutthroat trout in Yellowstone Lake

January 1, 2005

This chapter discusses the effects of wildfire on the growth of cutthroat trout in Yellowstone Lake. Trends in year-to-year variation in growth for individual age groups and 25 mm length groups of cutthroat trout in Yellowstone Lake were examined in an attempt to detect shifts in growth patterns associated with the fires. Approximately 100,000 ha of the Yellowstone Lake watershed burned between early July and late August 1988 and the majority of area burned was in the southern part of the drainage, including the Yellowstone River, the largest tributary to the lake. Pelican Creek, the second largest tributary to the lake, was the only major tributary entering the lake from the north that was affected by the fire. In order to aid interpretation of trends through time, relative growth rates of cutthroat trout in individual age and length groups were evaluated using linear regression.