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December 31, 2008

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Just Desserts for Invasive Yellowstone Fish

Fishery researchers, funded by a federal grant to determine the most expedient method for eliminating invasive lake trout from Yellowstone National Park, have come up with a variety of scientific and highly technical options.

Al Zale, Leader of the Montana Cooperative Fishery Research Unit at Montana State University in Bozeman, suggests the use of ultrasound, microwaves and electroshocking to help protect the native cutthroat trout in Yellowstone Lake from the illegally introduced, non-native fish.Jello

Another possibility is Jell-O, Zale says.

While he admits there’s nothing high-tech about the popular gelatin dessert, Zale said he and his collaborators believe the substance could effectively smother the eggs of lake trout and prevent them from hatching.

The researchers say a Jell-O coating would efficiently destroy the eggs during the late fall spawning season. Past telemetry studies would help direct the Jell-O Application Brigade to the primary lake trout nesting areas of the park’s largest body of water.

If the gelatin method is chosen for use in the project, Zale said the research team would probably recommend the unflavored and colorless kind. So you can forget about seeing red and green Jell-O squares straight out of the Furr’s Cafeteria dessert shelf resting atop of a mound of fish eggs.

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