Read Smith River landowners’ letter from the Great Falls Tribute.
The USFS and MT FWP work to preserve populations of pure strain Yellowstone cutthroat trout in the upper reaches of the Shields River. Building fish barriers are among the efforts to prevent hybridization or elimination of these rare cutties by brook and rainbow trout. Read more here.
In his article for Cool Green Science, Ted Williams discusses the interplay between private landowners, NGOs and governmental agencies in grayling recovery. Williams emphasizes the success that can be had through a cooperative approach to fisheries management. Involving water rights holders and landowners in conservation efforts serves to build long lasting relationships that only further fisheries protections. Also look for a sweet quote from MTU’s Executive Director, Bruce Farling.
Pallid Sturgeon have been around for over 70 million years. Since 1990 this ancient fish has been listed as an endangered species. Less than 150 wild, adult Pallid Sturgeon exist in the upper Missouri River and lower Yellowstone Rivers. The lower Yellowstone has been identified as especially important habitat for the continued survival of this population. The Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation are favoring a proposal to build a permanent, concrete dam on the Yellowstone River below Glendive along with an untested, 2-mile bypass channel, as a way to recover Pallid Sturgeon. There is no evidence that these fish will use the bypass channel to spawn and it will do nothing to help the larvae and young fish move downstream. MTU supports an alternative of removing the current diversion dam on the Yellowstone, providing irrigators with a pump system to ensure their water rights, and opening 165 miles of healthy spawning habitat for Pallid Sturgeon. The Corps and Bureau will be holding public meetings on this issue at the end of June. These agencies are prepared to spend $60 million of federal funding on a plan that will dam this iconic river and risks the survival of a true dinosaur fish on a completely unproven fish passage structure. Please read our summary of the issues and consider attending a public meeting or submitting a public comment.