• Flathead River


  • Westslope Cutthroat Trout

  • Bull Trout

  • Cold, Clean, Clear and Connected

  • Flathead Fishing

  • History as our guide


Volunteer Opportunity:  Cabela’s Family Outdoor Adventure Day

On June 13, from 11am to 2pm, the Kalispell Cabela’s store will host their annual Family Outdoor Adventure Day. The event will offer the opportunity for families to participate in hands-on firearm safety lessons, fishing instruction, archery lessons and trapping demonstrations. Of course, Flathead Valley Trout Unlimited will be there offering instruction and demonstration of fly tying and fly casting for all ages while sharing our coldwater conservation message.

We are looking for volunteers to help us out during the event. If you would like to have some fun teaching fly tying or casting while spreading our message of conservation through Cold, Clean. Clear and Connected local waters, you can sign up HERE using our handy online form. If you have any questions, you can contact Dan Short at (406) 250-5064, or Larry Timchak at (406) 250-7473

Flathead River Creel Survey Underway

Flathead Bull Trout - Go Griz!

Flathead Bull Trout – Go Griz!

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is conducting an angler use (creel) survey this year on the Flathead River from the confluence of the North and Middle forks (Blankenship Bridge) down to Flathead Lake.  This creel will describe daily and seasonal angler catch and harvest, angler numbers, gear preferences, and target fish species and provide information to assess how fishing and river use has changed since the last survey conducted in 2002-2003.  FWP creel clerks will be conducting interviews at fishing access points along the Flathead River from now through February 2016.  These interviews will be combined with flight surveys of the river to help biologists better understand fish population trends and changes in recreational river use over time.

While involvement is voluntary, FVTU encourages anglers to participate to help FWP and all of us to better understand the status and trends of use in the Flathead River fishery. If you are interested in more information, please contact Amber Steed at 751-4541 or asteed@mt.gov.

The CSKT Water Compact passed the Montana Legislature and is on it’s way to the U.S. Congress for approval. Thanks to all of you who supported this important legislation! We may call on you again to promote passage in Congress, but for now, you folks did an awesome job!!

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;

30-second PSA version

60-second PSA version

If you would like HD versions of either video, please contact Flathead TU

Illegal Introductions: Stupid people do stupid things.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

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.

EBCFlathead 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.

Read the CSKT Final EIS: Proposed Strategies to Benefit Native Species by reducing the abundance of lake trout, Flathead Lake, Montana.

Please read comments by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks on the proposed EIS along with detailed rebuttal by CSKT

Press Release: CSKT Tribal Council Recommends a Preferred Alternative

Flathead TU Comments on the Draft EIS

Montana TU Comments on the Draft EIS

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Comments on the Draft EIS

CSKT 2014 Implementation Plan for the Flathead Lake and River Fisheries Co-Management Plan

For more information on the plight of our native fish, read Facts About Flathead Lake and the NEPA Process


Lake trout removed from Quartz Lake

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.

Preservation of Threatened Bull Trout in Glacier National Park.

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.

Swan Lake  and Swan River Native Fish Restoration Efforts2013 Swan Lake

Swan Valley Bull Trout Working Group

2014 Summary Report (pdf)

From Montana TU 2013 Summary Report (pdf)

2012 Summary Report (pdf)