Historically, Baptie lake, near Goat and Betty lakes in the copper basin area, has produced very large cutthroat trout. This lake produces cutts in the 28-30 inch class and i noticed their numbers have dwindled over the past ten years. This lake has not been stocked with cutts since 1989. This is an amazing fishery. Very few alpine lakes are capable of producing trout this size. Why has the stalking of cutthroat trout stopped? Why is the potential of this lake being ignored and used to host tiny greyling and goldens?
Thanks for your interest in Baptie Lake in the Copper Basin. As you note, Baptie is capable of growing some very large trout. In the past, the fishery has been supported by cutthroat trout, although in more recent times, grayling and now golden trout have been stocked. We switched to goldens to take advantage of the fast growth in that lake in the hopes of creating a fishery for large golden trout - an opportunity that is rare across the range of golden trout. We realize that they will not grow to the same size as cutthroat used to, but we think it is worthwhile to try to grow a potentially large (for the species) golden trout. We do try to offer a diversity of angling experiences in our mountain lakes program, and cutthroat trout are available in both Goat and Betty lakes nearby. If we are unable to provide a satisfactory fishery for large golden trout, we can reevaluate our stocking program as neessary to ensure we meet our management objectives and increase angler satisfaction.
If you have additional questions, feel free to call me at 525-7290.
Regional Fisheries Manager, Upper Snake Region