Montana Public Radio

westslope cutthroat trout

Westslope cutthroat trout.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

A recent study found a way to identify lakes and other bodies of water in northwest Montana that are at high risk of illegal fish introductions, which can threaten native species. The study will allow state fish managers to improve patrols in high risk areas.

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.

Westslope cutthroat trout.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

For the first time, Glacier National Park is attempting to eradicate non-native trout species and restore native westslope cutthroat trout. The project on the west side of the park specifically aims to preserve genetically pure westslope populations.

Westslope cutthroat trout.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks is proposing fishing tackle restrictions on certain sections of the Flathead River. The move is meant to protect westslope cutthroat and bull trout as angling pressure increases.

Tackle restrictions would apply upstream of the Teakettle fishing access site off U.S. Highway 2 near Columbia Falls.

Rainbow trout and brown trout.
iStock

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is proposing to remove non-native trout species in Cooney Creek, a tributary of the upper Swan River in northwest Montana, in an effort to boost native westslope cutthroat and bull trout populations.

FWP manages these species as “species of conservation concern.” Bull trout are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Hybridization between westslope cutthroat trout and non-native rainbow trout in Glacier National Park. Green = westslope cutthroat genes. Red = rainbow trout genes.
National Parks Service

Glacier National Park released an environmental assessment Friday for a proposal to kill off non-native fish in a remote area. Biologists say that could help fortify native species against the threats of climate change, invasive species and habitat loss.

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.

This week on "Pea Green Boat" we're talking about Montana's state symbols. If you're listening from anywhere in western Montana, chances are you can find many of these symbols on a short walk out your door. Check out these state symbols, and tune in to "Pea Green Boat" all week at 4:00 p.m. to learn more.

A.J. Coulter guides fly fishing trips on rivers all around Montana. Recently, he’s been starting his trips earlier in the day to avoid angling in heat of the day so as to not catch unhealthy fish.
Corin Cates-Carney

Fish, and maybe you, are getting stressed out in this summer heat. But for fish, stress is made worse when, on top of trying to stay cool, they have to avoid eating a fly tied to a line.

In the heat wave of the past few weeks, guides and regulators have worked to protect fish during a time when fish are very vulnerable.

A new survey suggests conservation and national parks are as close to a bipartisan issue as you’re ever going to find in Montana.
U.S. Forest Service Northern Region

Montana fishing regulations are being re-written this year. And for anglers who want the rulebook to change, now is the time to speak up.

Every four years, Montana’s fishing regulations undergo a comprehensive review. This month, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is hosting statewide open houses to discuss regulations for the 2016-2019 fishing seasons.

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