2011 Annual Fishing Newsletter
As you read through the Fishing Newsletter this year, you will notice the multitude and wide variety of activities and actions that Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) performs in order to provide quality fisheries and fishing opportunities to anglers. Every now and then it’s worth stepping back and considering all these efforts within the context of the goals and objectives of the Fisheries Bureau. Quality fishing can only be accomplished through successful fish management, protection of the aquatic habitats upon which the fish depend, and access to our public waters.
Our two primary goals for fish management are very straight forward:
- Provide a diversity of quality angling opportunities through management of self-sustaining wild fisheries and the responsible use of hatchery-reared fish; and
- Protect, maintain, and restore native fish populations, life cycles, and genetic diversity and continue to provide angling opportunities whenever possible.
For the most part, we seek to maintain wild fisheries in streams and rivers and lakes wherever conditions allow. Hatchery fish are typically stocked in lakes and reservoirs where natural reproduction is lacking or where fishing pressure is high and there is a demand for greater angling opportunities.
You will notice in the write-ups of the hatcheries that the western hatcheries provide most of the trout and salmon to our lakes, while the eastern hatcheries at Miles City and Fort Peck provide most of our walleye and northern pike. You may be interested to read about some of our more recent unique efforts at hatcheries to produce redband trout and channel catfish along with our successful importation of tiger muskies. Our hatcheries also provide an increased role in helping with native species management. The Miles City Hatchery helps produce pallid sturgeon to help with recovery efforts of this endangered species, while the Yellowstone, Washoe Park and Murray Springs hatcheries play vital roles in cutthroat trout restoration efforts. Cutthroat restoration efforts sometimes include the need for chemical (rotenone) rehabilitation. In 2010, several notable projects are described, including Cherry Creek in Region 3, Sage Creek in Region 5 and Blossom Lake and the South Fork Flathead projects in Region 1.
Of course all fish management efforts would be much more difficult were it not for the efforts of our fish habitat section, where the primary goals are:
- Preserve and protect aquatic habitats;
- Restore and enhance degraded habitats; and
- Restore and maintain adequate water flow in streams and satisfactory water levels in lakes and reservoirs.
This is why you will see write-ups of the many habitat enhancement projects our biologists conducted this past year. You will find that we have been involved in significant efforts in the Bitterroot, Blackfoot, Big Hole, Red Rock, Jefferson, and Tongue rivers—to name a few! Much more can be found in this newsletter, including a discussion of our latest management plan (Upper Missouri Reservoirs—Canyon Ferry, Hauser and Holter) and descriptions of efforts to optimize balance fisheries opportunities on large and small reservoirs alike.
For more detail on the Fisheries Bureau’s goals and programs and how our activities help us achieve those goals, visit us online where you will find a copy of the “Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Strategic Plan-The Road Ahead.”
2011 Annual Fishing Newsletter
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