MTPR

Swan Lake

Flathead Lake near Polson, MT.
P.J. Johnson (CC-BY-ND-2)

Boaters in the Flathead Basin may see some significant changes next season. A new set of regulations aimed at preventing the spread of invasive mussels next year are now being drafted.

The proposed regulations would require all boats to be inspected before they launch, set up a sticker for boats that only launch in Flathead and Swan Lakes, and establish annual fees to fund the program.

A map of lands in the Swan Forest Initiative
Lake County Conservation District

Backers of a proposal to transfer management of 60,000 acres of Flathead National Forest land to the state are making another plea for support after getting mostly negative feedback last month.

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."

Environmental Groups Sue For Inadequate Bull Trout Protection
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.

The Montana Chapter of Trout Unlimited announced plans this week to offer a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who illegally introduce fish species into the state’s waters, something wildlife officials say is on the rise.

"It is one of the most irresponsible things that somebody could do to Montana's fisheries," said Mark Aagenes, Montana TU Conservation Director.