Since 1951, some anglers have belonged to an exclusive club of individuals who keep diaries of their angling experiences for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.
At that time, about 350 dedicated anglers took on the job of keeping fishing logs. Compiling the information from these many individuals was tedious at best in the days of IBM keypunch equipment. But the angler's information was invaluable.
For example, the 1955 Water Pollution Act called for each lake and stream in the state to receive a water quality classification. FWP used information from fishing logs to make the initial classifications. The logs were the only data available on some streams. If an angler's diary reported catching trout, that water was classified as being at a quality standard suitable for trout.
Information gathered from anglers' logs also played a part in identifying when whirling disease first appeared in the state. A Pennsylvania angler's log helped fisheries managers deduce that whirling disease may have shown up in the Madison River as early as 1987.
Today, over 900 anglers participate in the Fishing Log Program and you can too. Anglers who have volunteered to record their fishing activities in a log issued by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks comprise the Fishing Log Program. Locations fished, species and number caught, date and miscellaneous information are recorded in the waterproof log. An angler can record a "bragging" size fish if they feel that the fish they caught was of unusually large size for the water they were fishing. Once a year, FWP recalls the logs to record and process the data that the anglers have collected. At this time, the logholder will receive a summary of the previous year's data and a fish log decal when the logbook is returned. Participants will also receive a copy of the Fishing Newsletter mailed out in the new year. The information gathered from the logs is valuable for the management of our fisheries resources.
To enroll in the Fishing Log Program, please submit your name, address and phone number to the address, e-mail, or phone number below: