Westslope cutthroat trout in Montana

Westslope cutthroat trout in Montana

Westslope cutthroat trout from S. Fork Flathead River

These photos were taken in the world-class Westslope cutthroat trout fishery
in the South Fork of the Flathead River, Montana, USA. The Westslope
cutthroat trout is one of two subspecies of native cutthroat found in
the state. According to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the population
of Westslope cutthroat trout in the South Fork is the strongest and
most vibrant in Montana, and perhaps in the entire West.
Put in was Big Priairie, take out wast Woodfir Creek just north of White River.

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 http://www.fisheries.org/units/AFSmontana/

For fun, he posted this quiz on GoFishn.com. 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.

Fly Fishing the Bitterroot with Bob and Peggy and Bob’s bamboo rod

Fly Fishing the Bitterroot with Bob and Peggy and Bob’s bamboo rod

Bob and the trout he caught on his bamboo rod

Bob and Peggy live in the Bitterroot south of Hamilton. They love to fish, love the outdoors and are avid Bitterroot Trout Unlimited supporters and members. We are proud of their service to one of our favorite organizations.

They fished with Jack on a nice fall day in late October. Bob used his bamboo rod and both of them caught some nice trout.

Join the Annual Bitterroot River Cleanup

Join the Annual Bitterroot River Cleanup

Wade Fishing the Bitterroot River

Help clean up the Bitterroot River in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana on:
Saturday, Sept 11, 2010
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Participants  and sponsors will be working in the area from Sula, Montana and Painted  Rocks Dam at the south end of the Bitterroot Valley all the way north  to Missoula, Montana where the Bitterroot River meets the Clark Fork  River. The Bitterroot River flows for over 80 miles and has many public  accesses. The more participants helping, the better. Bring your work  gloves and be ready to meet and make friends with wonderful people.

End the day at the “Barbecue for Participants” at Angler’s Roost, 4:30 PM

This event is sponsored by:

For information and to sign up, call Don McGourty 406-363-3146

When working on the river and banks, remember to respect private property – Stay below the high water line.

You can also contact:
Phil Connelly
Bitter Root Water Forum
PO Box 1247
Hamilton, MT 59840

Slideshow of the Bitterroot River in the fall.

Are you a Montana fly fishing outfitter or guide and concerned about climate change and impacts?

Montana Audubon and guides and outfitters speak up about climate change concerns.

Derek Goldman works for Montana Audubon out of Missoula, Montana. He is concerned about climate changes and impacts on Montana resources. He is reaching out to fly fishing outfitter and guides and asking them to speak up if they share his concerns. He has prepared a letter and is asking for signatures.

Here is the body of his draft letter.

Dear Senator Baucus, Senator Tester and Congressman Rehberg,

As fishing guides and outfitters in the state of Montana, we are writing to express our concerns about the impacts global climate change is having on our rivers, our fish, and our livelihoods, and to encourage you to support energy legislation that includes a strong, science-based cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

In Montana, we are fortunate to have more than 170,000 miles of rivers and streams meandering through our state. (Only Alaska, California and Texas can boast of more waterways than Montana.) Many of these rivers provide habitat for various species of game fish, including native Cutthroat trout, Bull trout, and Arctic grayling. Healthy fish populations and quality habitat are critical for our small businesses and for our way of life. The persistence of this world class fishery, for which Montana is famous, is in peril.

Climate impacts on Montana streams

Today global climate change threatens the health of our streams and the quality of native fish habitat. Studies of 50 years of climate data shows that total annual snowfall has decreased—by 6.3 inches annually in Great Falls to more than 22 inches in Missoula. At the same time, average March temperatures in Montana increased about 5.5° F.3 This is having a dramatic effect on the timing of spring snowmelt, resulting in a 30 percent drop in average spring snowpack throughout the state.

As a result, we are experiencing declining average stream flows and run-off that peaks several weeks earlier in the spring. Unfortunately this does not bode well for our native fish in Montana, many of which are absolutely dependent on cold water. The reduced snowpack and earlier melt-off results in less water in the rivers during the summer as well as warmer stream temperatures that can be lethal to our native trout. In fact, in recent years, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks managers have been forced to close many streams to all angling to protect fish from added stress.

Economic impact of fishing in Montana

America’s 44 million anglers play a major role in our economy, creating 1.1 million jobs and contributing $116 billion in overall economic output.5 Here in Montana, nearly 350,000 people fish annually (39 percent of whom are nonresident visitors) and spend $292 million on equipment, guiding services, lodging and other related expenditures.These anglers create 3,100 jobs in Montana, which pay $50 million in wages and salaries. Putting the breaks on greenhouse gas pollution is critical in order to keep these Montana jobs and associated economic benefits, and to provide the stability our businesses will need to persist in an uncertain future. This holds true for fishing guides and outfitters and also for the many other small businesses—from farmers to ski areas—that stand to lose if we fail to act.


As Congress moves forward in consideration of clean energy and climate legislation, we urge you to support strong, science-based limits on the greenhouse gas pollution that is causing global climate change and impacting Montana’s streams and native fish. Legislation should also maintain the integrity of our Clean Air Act, and provide investments in renewable energy as well as adequate funding to safeguard fish and wildlife from the worst effects of global warming.

Thank you.  (followed by signatures)

You can click here for a printable version of letter in PDF format. The printable version includes citations. Contact Derek if you want to sign the letter or have comments or questions.

Derek Goldman, Field Representative
Montana Audubon
405 S 1st St. West
Missoula, MT 59801
Office: (406) 549-2848 ext.2

Friends floated the Smith River the first week of June – it was BIG

Friends floated the Smith River the first week of June – it was BIG

This post is going back in time a bit, but worth it. Derek Goldman and Joe Goertzen floated the Smith River May 29 through June 2 and, in spite of rain, had a great time. The two main wrinkles were: trying to stay dry and fishing was not so good.

Derek said, “the Smith was blown out (1,800 cfs!) and not fishing well; same for the tributaries. Oh well. It rained three of the days, but not all day so we were able to dry things out. Still a great trip and Joe caught some fish.”

Derek took the photos of Joe on the Smith. Joe Goertzen, pronounced GURT-zen, is a Missoula artist, businessman and owner of Goertzen Adventure Equipment – “handmade in Missoula.”

Goertzen Adventure Equipment combines vintage appeal with modern creativity. Like your favorite pair of jeans, Adventure Equipment gains character with use and is rugged enough to pass on to your grandchildren. His company takes great pride in the design and construction of their products and strive to produce one-of-a-kind and ultimately useful equipment.

An added advantage in buying from them is the excellent service and product support. If you have any problems or need alterations, they will repair all of the products in a timely manner.

Joe welcomes custom orders and  ideas you may have for innovative products.

To contact Joe:

Email: contact@joegoertzen.com

Phone: (406) 546-0061

Location: 1029 Edith St., Missoula, MT 59801

Derek Goldman is field representative for Montana Audubon; he is working out of Missoula. He has been concerned about Montana snow pack, water levels and climate change. To read more about Derek’s work and how you can speak up about climate change concerns, visit our blog post titled, “Montana Audubon and guides and outfitters speak up about climate change concerns.


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