Tag Archives: bucket biology

Test shows Swan Lake walleye are Illegal transplants

A walleye caught in Swan Lake - courtesy Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
A walleye caught in Swan Lake – courtesy Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

The walleyes found in Swan Lake were illegally dumped there last year. Now fisheries personnel are worried about bucket biologists doing the same in other lakes and streams in the area . . .

State wildlife officials have confirmed that two walleyes caught in Swan Lake last fall were illegally transplanted, quelling concerns that the non-native species spawned in the lake.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists reported catching the walleye in Swan Lake in October during a gill-net operation, marking the first time the species has been discovered in the lake and raising concerns about the illegal introduction of yet another non-native fish in Montana’s waters, according to Mark Deleray, Region One fisheries manager for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Recent microchemistry analysis of the inner ear bones of the fish indicates they were introduced to the lake sometime last year.

Read more . . .

Montana FWP seeks comment on “bucket biology” rule

Montana FWP is collecting comments on a proposed rule on how to handle incidents of “bucket biology,” the unauthorized dumping of live fish into public waters.

Here’s the press release . . .

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking comment on a draft rule that outlines how officials will respond to the unauthorized placement of live fish into public waters.

Commonly referred to as “bucket biology,” the unauthorized placement of fish is a crime of significant concern and is likely to have adverse impacts on aquatic resources, angling opportunities, and fish management costs.

Examples include the illegal dumping of northern pike in the Upper Missouri River near Toston and walleye placed in Noxon Rapids Reservoir in northwestern Montana.

The new rule commits FWP to launching investigations within 30 days of learning about an unauthorized placement of fish in streams or lakes, followed by the development of an action plan to remove or suppress the fish.

Management actions could include removing unauthorized fish with nets and electrofishing or by chemicals that can kill fish. Actions to suppress the fish include changes to fishing regulations, fishing contests, and use of commercial fishing.

An electronic database would be established to catalog unauthorized fish placements and FWP management actions underway.

Eight public hearings are scheduled in February and March to discuss and take comment on the proposed rule. The sessions will begin at 7 p.m. at following locations:

  • Feb. 24 Kalispell FWP Region 1 HQ; 490 N. Meridian Rd.
  • Feb. 25 Missoula FWP Region 2 HQ; 3201 Spurgin Rd.
  • March 3 Helena FWP HQ; 1420 E. Sixth Ave.
  • March 3 Bozeman FWP Region 3 HQ; 1400 S. 19th
  • March 4 Great Falls FWP Region 4 HQ; 4600 Giant Springs Rd.
  • March 11 Glasgow FWP Region 6 HQ; 54078 U.S. Highway 2 W.
  • March 11 Billings FWP Region 5 HQ; 2300 Lake Elmo Drive
  • March 11 Miles City FWP Region 7 HQ; 325 I-94 Business Loop

For more information or to comment on the proposed rule online, visit the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov. Click “Public Notices.” Comments, due by March 21, can be emailed to fwpfsh@mt.gov; or mailed to: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Fisheries Division, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.