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Montana's Overlooked Fish


6/15/14 & 6/16/14: This week on "Fieldnotes:" "Montana's Forgotten Fish," written by Bridger Cohan, read by Caroline Kurtz.

"Montana is a state defined by trout. Giant cutthroats and rainbows fin their way through postcards and literature, firing the imaginations of fishermen. It may therefore come as a surprise that our streams and lakes are home to much more than these salmonids. Long-nosed and largescale suckers, mountain whitefish, mottled sculpin, pike-minnows and a host of other species can all be found by the naturalist who takes the time to peer beneath the surface.

Interestingly, healthy populations of these "rough" fish may actually be a contributor to Montana's trophy trout fisheries. Sculpins, shiners and young whitefish are important forage fishes for larger, predatory salmonids, a fact attested to by the wide array of lures and flies that imitate them. A healthy population of whitefish or suckers also lets fisheries biologists know that a river or creek is healthy, as these species are very sensitive to warm or polluted water."

Beth Anne Austein has been spinning tunes on the air (The Folk Show, Dancing With Tradition, Freeforms), as well as recording, editing and mixing audio for Montana Public Radio and Montana PBS, since the Clinton Administration. She’s jockeyed faders or "fixed it in post” for The Plant Detective; Listeners Bookstall; Fieldnotes; Musicians Spotlight; The Write Question; Storycorps; Selected Shorts; Bill Raoul’s music series; orchestral and chamber concerts; lecture series; news interviews; and outside producers’ programs about topics ranging from philosophy to ticks.
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