The Montana Whirling Disease Task Force will meet in Helena, Thursday, July 10 to discuss "fishing regulations in a whirling disease environment." The meeting will be held in Room 325 of the Capitol Building beginning at noon.
The task force was formed in 1995 by Gov. Marc Racicot to address whirling disease related research needs, fisheries management and policy issues, economic and social impacts, and the establishment of a means to raise funds needed to support its research recommendations.
Task force chairman Marshall Bloom said the July meeting will consist of presentations by Fish, Wildlife & Parks biologists on: (1) regulation-setting processes; (2) the impact of whirling disease on fishing regulations; and (3) the effect of experimental fishing regulations on the Madison River.
Whirling disease, a potentially fatal parasitic infection named for the tail-chasing motion it causes in trout, was first found in Montana in 1994. It has since been detected in more than 40 locations in the state.
Bloom said the task force intends to eventually make recommendations regarding regulatory tools and options that could be used to safeguard trout populations in streams affected by whirling disease. Public comment will be solicited at the meeting.