Important September dates for trout

  • 9/10 Bitterroot River Cleanup
    10 am to 4 pm followed by BBQ for volunteers at Anglers Roost (south of Hamilton). Call Don at 406-363-3146 
  • 9/14/17 National TU’s Annual Meeting in Bend, Oregon
    Visit for details and registration.
  • 9/23 32 Annual Bitterroot TU Banquet
    5 pm at Bitterroot River Inn in Hamilton, Montana. Contact Marshall Bloom at 406-363-3485 of
  • 9/24 Montana TU’s State Council Meeting
    9:30 am at the Double Tree in Missoula. Contact Kate Grant at 406-543-0054 or

Rainbow trout – an entirely synthetic fish. Learn more Feb 7 in Missoula, MT

Rainbow trout – an entirely synthetic fish. Learn more Feb 7 in Missoula, MT

Written by Merle Loman for Bitterroot Trout Unlimited.

Join Missoula and the author for a reading and signing of Anders Halverson’s An Entirely Synthetic Fish. The event will be at Fact & Fiction, 220 N. Higgins Ave, Missoula, Montana on February 10th from 7 pm to 8:20 pm. For more information call the book store at (406) 721-2881. Click here for directions to Fact and Fiction downtown.
About the Book

An Entirely Synthetic Fish: How Rainbow Trout Beguiled America and Overran the World (Hardcover)

By Anders Halverson
$26.00 – ISBN-13: 9780300140873
Availability: Special Order – Subject to Availability
Published: Yale University Press, 3/2010
Anders Halverson provides an in-depth account of the rainbow trout and why it has become the most commonly stocked and controversial freshwater fish in the United States. Rainbow trout have been proudly dubbed “an entirely synthetic fish” by fisheries managers. According to Halverson, his book examines the paradoxes and reveals a range of characters, from nineteenth-century boosters who believed rainbows could be the saviors of democracy to twenty-first-century biologists who now seek to eradicate them from waters around the globe. He discusses how the story of the rainbow trout is the story of our relationship with the natural world—how it has changed and how it startlingly has not.

Anders Halverson is an award winning journalist with a Ph.D. in aquatic ecology from Yale University. With support from the National Science Foundation, he wrote this book as a research associate at the University of Colorado’s Center of the American West.
A lifelong fisherman, he currently lives in Boulder, CO.

Other Montana events for this book are:
Book Signing at Country Bookshelf Bookstore
, Bozeman, MT on Monday, February 7, 2011 at 4:00pm. Click here for more information about the Country Bookshelf Bookstore.
Book Discussion at Montana State Univ., Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman, MT Monday, February 7, 2011 at 6:00pm. Click here for the website for Museum of the Rockies
Plenary Address at the Montana Chapter of the American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, Great Falls, MT, Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 9:00am. Click here for AFS information

For fun, he posted this quiz on The winner received his book.
The Rainbow Trout Quiz: Question #1 – GoFISHn on GoFISHn
In 1996, IdahoDepartment of Fish and Game hatchery managers routinely taught their fish one thing before releasing them into the wild. What was it?

The answer: worms. Candy Craig got it right, and she’s the winner of a copy of the book. The reason the fisheries officials put the fish on a worm diet was to prepare them for the wild. They feared the fish would swim around looking for pellets  when they were released, which is their normal fare in the hatchery.

Native fish restoration in Montana – Bitterroot Trout Unlimited public program 1-21-2010

Native fish restoration in Montana – Bitterroot Trout Unlimited public program 1-21-2010

The January BRTU meeting will be at 7:00 PM Thursday, January 21 at the Hamilton Elks Lodge, 203 State Street. Travis Horton, who is the Native Fish Coordinator for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, will give a presentation about Montana’s Native Trout programs. This will be a great opportunity to learn about what makes Montana’s fisheries so special. Attached is the postcard that is being mailed out. Please feel free to forward on to interested friends. If you have any questions, please contact Bill Bean at 363-6158,

Link to programs offered by Bitterrroot TU

Elks Lodge

203 State Street
Hamilton, MT 59840-2522
(406) 363-3031
Get directions

Painted Rocks Reservoir in the Bitterroot Valley and How It Is Operated

Painted Rocks Reservoir in the Bitterroot Valley and How It Is Operated

Information from and email by Larry A. Schock, CFM DNRC Water Resources Division

Painted Rocks Reservoir State Park image by FWPHello Everyone,

The DNRC has received several inquires lately concerning the outflows at Painted Rocks Reservoir and how the reservoir is operated. Therefore, the following email will provide a brief explanation of reservoir operations.

The operation of Painted Rocks Reservoir involves three main parties. The DNRC, the Painted Rocks Water Users Association (PRWUA), and the MT FWP. Painted Rocks Reservoir holds approximately 32,656 acre-feet (af) of water, with 25,000 af of that stored water marketed to the MT FWP and the PRWUA. Additionally, there is the Bitterroot River Water Commissioner who manages the river in a manner that insures the apportionment and diversion of decreed and contract waters.

The DNRC is owner of the dam and the reservoir area. It is our responsibility to insure that the reservoir is filled and operated safely and that water is available for delivery to the contract holders. Once the reservoir is full the amount of water that flows into the reservoir equals the reservoir outflows. The reservoir is held in this state of equilibrium until the contract water is requested. The DNRC is under contractual obligation to deliver the contract water a the dam to the contract holders when it is called for.

The 10,000 af (or 2/5ths) of shares that has been marketed to the PRWUA is primarily used for agriculture purposes. Releases to the PRWUA usually occurs in mid July, but it is delayed this year due to higher than normal flows on the East Fork and the Mainstem of the Bitterroot River.

The other 15,000 af (or 3/5ths) of shares has been marketed to the MT FWP for in-stream uses . The local FWP contact in the Bitterroot Valley is Chris Clancy at 363-7169. The FWP contract water is released for instream flows in the mainstem of the Bitterroot River, based upon the conditions at Bell Crossing. According to the FWP current guidelines, they determine their desired releases based upon a minimum targeted flow rate of approximately 450 cfs at the Bell Crossing gage. As of today the flow rate at the Bell Crossing gage is approximately 737 cfs. The current FWP guidelines do not discuss the release of water from the reservoir for the augmentation of flows in the West Fork of the Bitterroot River, only the mainstem of the Bitterroot River.

Recently inquires have been made to the DNRC about the following issues; low water levels effecting raft access to the river; low water levels effecting quality of fishing; low water levels effecting water temperatures; and bad access road into the shuttle parking area upstream of the USGS gage below the dam.

Low Water Levels

The low flow conditions in the West Fork of the Bitterroot River are simply a reflection of the low inflows into the reservoir. As inflows to the reservoir drop, the DNRC adjusts outflows to match. The DNRC is passing all of the inflows through the reservoir, either over the spillway or out of the low level outlet. Flows below the dam will raise, pending a call for contract water from either the PRWUA of the MT FWP. The DNRC has recently made several gate adjustments on July 23rd, 24th, and 28th in order to insure that the reservoir outflows matched the inflows. These adjustments are also needed in order to transition the flows from the spillway to the low level outlet in preparation for the anticipated contract water deliveries. An additional adjustment is anticipated on July 31st. Requests for the release of contract waters for in-stream purposes on the West Fork of the Bitterroot River should be directed to the FWP.

The dirt road that goes upstream past the USGS gage to the pioneer launch site below Painted Rocks Dam, is not a DNRC road and it is located on US Forest Service (USFS) property. Any concerns about this pioneer road, launch, and camping site should be directed to the USFS West Fork District Ranger Office.

Larry A. Schock, CFM

DNRC Water Resources Division

Missoula Regional Office

(406) 721-4284

Click here to go to the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (MT FWP) site for the West Fork of the Bitterroot.
Click here to go to the MT FWP site for Painted Rocks Reservoir, Tributary of the West Fork of the Bitterroot. They have an interactive map link.
Click here
for contact information for US Forest Service, West Fork Ranger District.

2009 Montana Hunting and Fishing Licenses – New Season begins Sunday, March 1

2009 Montana Hunting and Fishing Licenses – New Season begins Sunday, March 1

Roy Loman wade fishing in western MontanaMontana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announces availability of Montana’s 2009 hunting and fishing licenses—including conservation, fishing, spring black bear and turkey, upland game bird, deer and elk hunting licenses— now at all FWP Regional offices and license providers.

Sunday, March 1 begins the new 2009 license year for Montana hunters and anglers. The new license year is especially important for early-season anglers, and for those who enjoy ice fishing.

Most 2009 licenses are available on the FWP Web page at Click MT FWP Online Montana Licensing Services.

You can also find a link for MT-FWP online licensing at our Wapiti Waters website –


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: