FWP fisheries biologists received well-deserved recognition for their efforts to restore the cutthroat trout population in the South Fork Flathead drainage . . .
The largest conservation project in the country aimed at restoring native westslope cutthroat trout has successfully reached its conclusion in the region, replenishing the waters of the South Fork Flathead River drainage upstream of Hungry Horse Dam with genetically pure populations of Montana’s state fish.
In doing so, the architects of the project, a band of dedicated state fisheries experts from the region, earned high honors from Montana’s governor, who this summer had occasion to ply some of the alpine lakes that now contain biologically superior populations of cutthroat.
On Sept. 25, Gov. Steve Bullock presented the Award for Excellence to Montana Fish Wildlife and Park’s Region One fisheries crew for their efforts to protect Montana’s last best stronghold for westslope cutthroat, a massive undertaking that began a decade ago under a cloud of controversy but emerged a resounding success.
A so-far successful westslope cutthroat trout restoration effort in the South Fork has implications for future projects in other areas . . .
A decade-long program to restore Montana’s state fish to a chain of 21 alpine lakes above the South Fork Flathead River drainage is showing good results, a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks official said.
Some of the lakes in the Westslope Cutthroat Trout Conservation project have been poisoned to kill non-native fish and then stocked with cutthroats. Others have been densely stocked each year with genetically pure trout to try to get rid of hybrid populations. Five remote lakes have received no treatment so far.
Another report — with photos — from the Daily Inter Lake on the area’s fires . . .
Wildfires in the Bob Marshall Wilderness have spread rapidly over the last couple of days, and an aerial burnout operation is planned today on a fire burning just outside the wilderness southeast of Swan Lake.
In just one day after it was detected, the Big Salmon Lake Fire went on a wind- and fuel-driven rampage Wednesday, growing to 2,000 acres. The fire started near the north shore of Big Salmon Lake, burning upslope to the northeast in heavy timber.
It has a high potential for growth toward the South Fork Flathead River, prompting multiple trail closures and efforts to protect the Salmon Forks Cabin, the Salmon Forks suspension bridge and the Little Salmon Bridge.