© 2022 MTPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Montana News

State Wildlife Officials Scrambling To Learn More About Yellowstone River Fish Kill

About 400 people came to a hall at the Park County Fairgrounds in Livingston to learn more about the Yellowstone River fish kill
Eric Whitney
/
About 400 people came to a hall at the Park County Fairgrounds in Livingston to learn more about the Yellowstone River fish kill

About 400 people turned out at the Park County Fairgrounds in Livingston last night to get the latest on the Yellowstone River fish kill from Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks department. 

FWP staff told the crowd that there’s still a lot they don’t know about how widespread the parasite is that’s killing mostly mountain whitefish in the Yellowstone River and its tributaries, but they’re working hard and expect to know more soon.

"The magnitude of this kill is unlike anything our fish health specialists have seen before in Montana," said Andrea Jones, FWP's information and education manager.

They know the parasite has killed tens of thousands of whitefish, and that those fish continue to die in large numbers, particularly south of Livingston. They’ve only observed a handful of dead trout. FWP closed a 183-mile stretch of the Yellowstone to all recreation on August 19th, as well as all its tributaries.

Fish Health Program Supervisor Eileen Ryce said samples from the tributaries are currently being tested.

"We should have the first batch of results coming in on Friday," she said.

The crowd was mostly supportive of FWP’s efforts. A few people complained that not enough is being done to help the dozens of businesses that have shut down or are suffering due to the river’s closure. There is no timeline for when it will re-open.

Related Content