Montana Public Radio

fish

Yellowstone National Park says it’s making progress reducing the number of non-native lake trout. 

Park and contract crews caught and killed over 280,000 lake trout from Yellowstone Lake between May and October, according to a press release Friday. The total tally is less than last year and the year before that, which is a good thing.

Resource conservation student Jared Smith (left) builds a beaver dam analog on Fish Creek in western Montana, along with another undergraduate and Ph.D. ecology student Andrew Lahr (right), Oct. 19, 2019.
Kevin Trevellyan / Montana Public Radio

University of Montana ecologists are researching human-made beaver dams as a potential habitat restoration tool. Early case studies show the dams could dull the impacts of climate change seen in rivers and streams. The U.S. Forest Service is looking to use the simple structures on new sites in the state, but first, officials want to better understand the science behind simulated rodent engineering.

Bull trout
flickr/USFWS Headquarters

Three environmental groups are suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its recovery plan for bull trout, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The groups say the plan doesn’t provide any way to determine if and when the species is recovered.

Walleye are invasive species in western Montana.
Eric Engbretson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (PD).

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission approved an emergency order Thursday requiring anglers in Upper, Middle and Lower Thompson lakes to kill any walleye caught in those bodies of water and turn the fish over to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP).

This comes just a week after FWP discovered two non-native female walleyes in Upper Thompson Lake during a routine fishery survey. The fish are thought to be illegally introduced and can severely alter ecosystems.

An illegally introduced walleye found in Montana's Swan Lake in 2015.
Courtesy Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Two nonnative walleyes were detected during a routine fishery survey west of Kalispell last week. The species could prove detrimental for a number of lakes in the area, and fishery managers are still deciding how to respond.

A slickens in Montana's upper Clark Fork basin. Slickens are areas devoid of life due to heavy metal contamination from mine waste.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

Montana wildlife officials are investigating what’s being described as a "significant" fish kill along the banks of the Upper Clark Fork River.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks fisheries biologist Nathan Cook fielded a report this weekend of several dead fish downstream of Warm Springs and upstream of Galen.

Bull trout
flickr/USFWS Headquarters

In the beginning, the idea of global warming was easy for me to ignore. Of course I found the footage of floating polar bears distressing, but the ice caps seemed far away, and scientists seemed even farther from any real answers.

Arctic grayling
Mark Conlin, USFWS

A federal appeals court says U.S. wildlife officials did not consider all environmental factors when it decided against designating a Montana fish as a threatened or endangered species.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Friday sent a lawsuit seeking federal protections for the Arctic grayling back to a lower court for further consideration.

Upper Gibbon River near Wolf Lake.
Yellowstone National Park (PD)

Starting next week Yellowstone National Park staff will begin chemically treating the upper Gibbon River, continuing a project to remove nonnative fish in central Yellowstone.

Algae growth is increasing on Montana’s famed Smith River and scientists don’t know why. So, they’re turning to the public for help.

Excessive algae can deplete oxygen and alter water pH levels, harming fish and other aquatic life in the process. Algae blooms are also a nuisance to humans who encounter them on rivers and lakes.

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