bull trout

Bull trout
Joel Sartore/National Geographic, and Wade Fredenberg/USFWS

In the beginning, the idea of global warming was easy for me to ignore. Of course I found the footage of floating polar bears distressing, but the ice caps seemed far away, and scientists seemed even farther from any real answers. Instead, I distracted myself with fantasies of extended summer vacations and longer-lasting tans. Although I admit to subscribing to some serious misinformation, I have come to realize that climate change threatens far more than just the fierce and fuzzy white denizens of the Arctic. In particular, I began noticing newspaper and journal articles that warned of the effects of climate change on one of my favorite Montana native species, the bull trout. I learned that even slight increases in temperatures in the Pacific Northwest will warm waters enough to make them uninhabitable for bull trout. Without this fish, the prospect of longer summers and milder winters lost its appeal.

Bull trout.
Joel Sartore National Geographic & Wade Fredenberg USFWS (CC-BY-2.0)

Environmental groups announced yesterday that they’re suing the Department of the Interior over its bull trout recovery plan.

Bull trout.
Joel Sartore National Geographic & Wade Fredenberg USFWS (CC-BY-2.0)

A copper and silver mine for northwest Montana appears one step closer to approval and this worries Mary Costello.

A.J. Coulter guides fly fishing trips on rivers all around Montana. Recently, he’s been starting his trips earlier in the day to avoid angling in heat of the day so as to not catch unhealthy fish.
Corin Cates-Carney

Fish, and maybe you, are getting stressed out in this summer heat. But for fish, stress is made worse when, on top of trying to stay cool, they have to avoid eating a fly tied to a line.

In the heat wave of the past few weeks, guides and regulators have worked to protect fish during a time when fish are very vulnerable.

One of the authors of a new plan to save the threatened bull Trout in Montana says that’s not an easy task, nor is measuring what it will take to get the fish off of the endangered species list.

"Some folks think it’s a simple, you cross the finish line and you’re there. That’s never quite the way it is."

Bull trout.
Joel Sartore National Geographic & Wade Fredenberg USFWS (CC-BY-2.0)

A Montana environmental group working on recovery of the threatened bull trout is critical of a new federal plan to save the fish.

"I guess I just don’t see this as being a holistic plan," says Arlene Montgomery.

U.S. Forest Service Northern Region

Montana fishing regulations are being re-written this year. And for anglers who want the rulebook to change, now is the time to speak up.

Every four years, Montana’s fishing regulations undergo a comprehensive review. This month, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is hosting statewide open houses to discuss regulations for the 2016-2019 fishing seasons.

Bull trout
Joel Sartore/National Geographic, and Wade Fredenberg/USFWS

The leader of a Montana conservation group says it’s prepared to file an eleventh lawsuit if the federal government doesn’t change its bull trout recovery plan.

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies has successfully sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over bull trout recovery ten times in the past.

Bull trout are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in the lower 48.

Warming waters threaten cold water trout

Oct 23, 2013
Katrin Frye

As part of our ongoing series in Montana Public Media's "Climate Week", we focus on the impact of climate change on Montana's waters, and the native fish adapted to thrive in cold, glacier-fed streams.

Cold water fish like west slope cutthroat and bull trout call northwest Montana home. However, these native fish could be considered the canary in the coal mine in regard to the effects of climate change. Warming waters, changes in spring runoff, and mid-winter rainfall are among the issues affecting the habitat for these fish.