This year’s grand prize at our fundraiser banquet will be this spectacular Aire Puma, 14-foot self-bailing raft with NRS fishing frame. Make sure you get your raffle tickets for this one! You can get tickets by calling (406) 250-7473, or watch for our ticket sales at outdoor events around the valley. You can also pick up tickets at our April 21 general meeting, or at the banquet.
And, don’t forget to attend our banquet on May 9th at Grouse Mountain Lodge in Whitefish. In addition to this great raft we will have lots of raffles, drawings and door prizes with lots and lots of great prizes. This is our largest fund raising event of the year and is always the social event of the season. We hope to see you there.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Senate Bill 262 to ratify the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Water Compact has been introduced in the 2015 Legislature. We are going to need your help to get this through the process. This is an extremely important piece of legislation and that been the subject of a lot of misinformation and downright lies in the press. You can help by becoming informed and contacting your legislators in support of this bill.
Please get as much information as you can and contact your local legislators and let them know that this final reserved water compact must be ratified by the legislature. SB262 contains most of the language of the Compact. It is good legislation for Montana and will help out wild fish populations. Please take a look at From Lies to Truth: Why the CSKT Water Rights Compact Is Good For Montana, it does an excellent job, in clear language, of describing the benefits of the Compact and debunking a lot of the misinformation. You can find out why Flathead TU and Montana TU support this legislation at the Montana Trout Unlimited website. On the MTU website you can also find out how to contact your legislators and express your support. Thanks for your help.
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.
ROD BUILDING CLASS
On Saturday, March 21, 2015, Jim Johnson will host a rod building class at his home near Bigfork. If you are interested, give Jim a call at (406) 837-3210. If you are an experienced rod builder or a new one, the class will accommodate you.
You will need to furnish a rod blank, reel seat, cork grip, guides, tip top, buy 2 spools of thread in whatever color(s) you want to use, a winding check of your choice, and you will need epoxy rod varnish. I suggest that you get the premeasured packages of epoxy, Cabela’s sells them, as do most of the rod building suppliers. It’s just the easiest way to get the job done in a group session. Most rods will require two coats of epoxy, so be sure to get enough, probably 3 or 4 packages.
Likely the best thing to do, if this is your first rod, is to call one of the suppliers and talk to someone at the store, tell him you want to put a rod kit together. They should ask you all the right questions and be a big help. You can get their phone numbers off the websites. Be sure to order soon so you will have the supplies in plenty of time for the class.
In no particular order, any of these are good companies:
Angler’s Workshop anglersworkshop.com
J. Stockard jsflyfishing.com
Feather Craft feather-craft.com
Jann’s Netcraft jannsnetcraft.com
Be advised that getting the varnishing done can be an awkward part of the class. It can take most of the day to get all the rods ready to varnish. Then each coat of varnish has to dry at least overnight. You can leave your rod at Jims’s place, but then you have to come back another day to put a second coat on your rod. And you can’t really transport a rod with wet varnish, so we will need to scheme a little bit. We’ve got it done just fine a couple of times before, so it can be done.
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.