Glacier Park has had several lightening triggered fires over the past week or so. Most are along the west face of the Continental Divide in the North Fork and most are pretty small. There are trail closures in several areas, including the Quartz Lake Loop and the Logging Lake drainage. The Hungry Horse News has a good summary . . .
Glacier National Park has closed some trails and a portion of the Inside North fork Road from Polebridge down to Logging Creek as it battles several small fires in the region.
The fires aren’t large, about a tenth of an acre or so, but there is one at Grace, Logging, Cummings Meadow and Quartz Lake.
Small fires at Bowman Creek and Big Prairie have been put out. Firefighters were also working on a small blaze on Snyder Ridge. Yesterday, a helicopter made water dumps on the fire, scooping water out of Lake McDonald. Visitors could also see helicopters getting water out of the North Fork of the Flathead…
Logging Lake is stuffed with invasive lake trout . . .
Glacier National Park’s Logging Lake is brimming with non-native lake trout, biologists have found. In 2015, biologists from the U.S. Geological survey netted 2,158 lake trout from the remote North Fork water.
“That’s a lot of fish,” Vin D’Angelo, fisheries biologist with the USGS said.
Initial netting last spring brought worries that the entire lake was full of lake trout and little else. They only caught 10 suckers, but hundreds of lake trout. The lake trout are killed and their air bladders are punctured so they sink back to the bottom of the lake, which avoids any conflict with bears and other scavengers.
But fall netting caught 864 suckers, D’Angelo noted. The idea isn’t to catch suckers, which are a bait fish, he noted, but at least biologists know they’re in the lake in healthy numbers. In fact, Logging Lake has turned out to be a fairly diverse body of water compared to other North Fork lakes. In addition to suckers species, it has a healthy population of westslope cutthroat trout, northern pike minnows and mountain whitefish. The lake trout don’t eat many cutts, because lake trout generally live in water that’s 50 to 70 feet deep, while cutts are a surface feeding fish.
Glacier Park announced yesterday a number of fish conservation projects in the North Fork. These include a fish passage barrier to be constructed to protect Akokala Lake and lake trout suppression work at Quartz and Logging Lakes.