Fri Apr 27 11:55:00 MDT 2012
To help anglers prepare for this year's fishing season, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has produced the 2012 Annual Fishing Newsletter.
The 54-page report on the status of Montana's fisheries is provided by local FWP fisheries biologists who collect data on Montana's heralded rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs. It features color pictures and readable, insider reports on some of Montana's favorite fishing spots.
"Anglers who read the Annual Fishing Newsletter will learn about the fish management, habitat restoration and public access activities of the past year," said Bruce Rich, FWP fisheries bureau chief. "It is a must read for anyone who desires something more than a superficial understanding of what makes Montana's fishing opportunities what they are."
Nearly 400,000 resident and nonresident anglers may be on Montana's waters this fishing season. Stream fishing in Montana opens May 19, the third Saturday in May.
Here are some highlights from the 2012 Fishing Newsletter.
- The new Pine Grove Pond on the Whitefish River north of Kalispell, was donated by the Street family. The pond is on property homesteaded by the family since 1883. It opened in late April 2011 and went on to clock an estimated 10,000 or more visitor days, as much as nearby Hungry Horse Reservoir receives.
- On the Blackfoot River bull trout showed a continuous decline during the dry years of 2000-2007. After seven years of prolonged drought, last year was the fourth consecutive year of average to above average flows. With the improved flows and reduced water temperatures bull trout are making an impressive comeback on this river.
- On the Missouri river in the Craig section the 2011 estimate of brown trout greater than 10 inches was 537 trout per mile compared to the 30-year average of 562 brown trout per mile. In the Cascade section, the estimate was 909 brown trout per mile and the 28-year average is 378 per mile! Time to dust off that fishing pole!
- The Flathead Lake Salmon Hatchery reports that fall 2011 provided a bumper crop of high quality kokanee eggs for stocking in 2012.
- In late 2010, sauger in the Yellowstone River from Billings to the Bighorn River were determined to be genetically unique from other sauger in Montana and Wyoming. Prior to the genetic studies, that population of sauger was thought to be part of a population found in the lower Yellowstone and Missouri rivers.