The Jackson Fish Management Crew conducted their annual fall sampling and tagging of lake trout in Jackson Lake just as they have been doing since 1987. The lake trout are caught in nets set at night when the fish are coming into the shallows to spawn. Lake trout 20 inches or larger are tagged so that when caught at a later date they can learn about growth rates, movements and survival of fish.
To encourage tag returns, anglers have been offered a cash reward of up to $20 for tags or tag numbers along with the length, weight and location of the fish. Each year Jackson fish managers get a number of tag returns from anglers, as well as their own surveys. This year, 92 new fish were tagged and 31 previously tagged fish were recaptured, ranging in size from 21 inches to 40 inches; 12 of which were caught by anglers.
Managers like to see a growth rate of approximately one inch and one pound per year. Those in Jackson Lake are a bit under that rate, likely due to the relatively cold water. Lake trout can live to be well over 30 years old.