2015 Montana Legislature
The 64th session of the Montana Legislature is now meeting in Helena. It appears that there will be many threats to our outdoor heritage during this session and quick action by conservation groups like ours and other fishing and hunting interests will likely be needed. Please stay informed and stay involved!
Check out the Montana TU Legislative Information Page for tips on how to contact your local representatives and other important government contact information.
Maker sure you don’t miss any important legislation or votes by signing up for the Montana TU Action Alert List
You can get information on bills, members, votes and much, much more at the Montana Legislature Web Site.
Jim Johnson will be hosting another fun and informative day of rod building in March. This is your chance learn how to create a custom, one-of-a-kind fly rod that you will be proud to own and use.
Exact timing has yet to be determined. Watch this space for more detailed information, or call Jim at (406) 837-3210 if you need more info.
Catch and Release – It only makes sense
Flathead Valley Trout Unlimited produced the following short video public service announcement on proper Catch and Release techniques.
If you would like to use this video in either 30 or 60-second versions, you can download the following files;
If you would like HD versions of either video, please contact Flathead TU
Illegal Introductions: Stupid people do stupid things.
Whether it is Smallmouth bass in Seeley Lake, Walleye in Noxon Reservoir, Perch in Rogers Lake, or Northern Pike in the Stillwater Lakes, illegal fish introductions in Montana’s waters do irreparable harm to our state fisheries. Montana has documented over 500 illegal introductions of fish in 300 of Montana’s waters. More than 25% of those incidents have occurred in the past 10 years. Recently, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has introduced new rules for dealing with unlawful bucket biology.
The new rule requires FWP to investigate reports of unauthorized fish plantings within 30 days of learning about them, followed by an action plan to deal with the introduction. Flathead Valley TU supports the intent and implementation of these new rules and encourages the public to be aware of actions that can drastically hurt our fishing opportunities. A recent article in the May-June issue of Montana Outdoors Magazine highlights the damage that these stupid people are inflicting on our precious fisheries resources.
Montana Trout Unlimited along with its affiliated statewide chapters have offered a reward of $10,000 for the arrest and conviction of anyone illegally dumping fish into our waterways to help stem the increasing tide of illegal introductions. The money will be available through FWP’s TIP-MONT program “Ten thousand dollars is a lot of money, but when you consider lost fishing opportunities, economic cost to local communities and the cost of getting rid of invasive species, this is an important investment,” said Montana TU Conservation Director Mark Aagenes.
It’s time to get tough on those few anglers who think they can better manage our fisheries through unlawful actions than can our professional resource managers. These selfish folks need to understand that there are serious consequences to their actions. Please support the new bucket biology rules by reporting these criminals.
Flathead Valley Trout Unlimited is currently supporting the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in their effort to reduce the overabundant population of lake trout in Flathead Lake in order to benefit native fish species and enhance the fishery in the Flathead River system. The CSKT published a final Environmental Impact Statement on their plan to suppress the lake trout population in Flathead Lake using a variety of methods and strategies that support the Co-Management plan developed by CSKT and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Press Release: CSKT Tribal Council Recommends a Preferred Alternative
For more information on the plight of our native fish, read Facts About Flathead Lake and the NEPA Process
Glacier National Park
In addition to efforts at Flathead Lake, other projects throughout the basin are addressing the problem of invasive nonnative fish. In Glacier National Park, lake trout have invaded nine of twelve lakes on the west side of the park and have placed important native fish populations at risk. In several of the infested lakes, the native bull trout populations are in imminent danger of extinction.
The Park Service is charged with protecting native species in our national parks for the enjoyment of future generations.
“It’s a huge ecological health issue,” said Clint Muhlfeld, a Glacier-based fisheries scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey. “A lot of the populations are functionally extinct in the park right now.”
Glacier National Park has taken on the large job of protecting and restoring its remaining native fish populations. In 2009, they began a project of gillnetting lake trout in Quartz Lake and recently released a plan to add a restoration effort on Logging Lake. Flathead Valley Trout Unlimited is fully supportive of this effort. Follow the links below for more information on these and other projects by the National Park Service to protect the genetic integrity of our native species.
Char Wars MSU scientists wade into fight against invasive lake trout in Montana’s national parks Large-Scale Removal of Lake Trout in Quartz Lake – Environmental Assessment Environmental Assessment for Continued Lake Trout Suppression on Quartz Lake & Lake Trout Removal and Bull Trout Conservation in the Logging Lake Drainage.