Reasons Why Trout Conservation Is So Important
When the subject of conservation creeps into our mind, the first thing we remember is water and wild animals in most cases, because they affect us one way or another. Little is talked about trout conservation. Although it may not directly affect us, allowing the Montana trout population to decline would have a bigger impact than we can imagine.
Trout Conservation Methods Every Angler Needs to Be Familiar With
Despite what you may think, fishing is not the main reason for the decline of trout population. This doesn’t mean that we should start fishing abusively. Under no circumstances! It just means there are more pressing issues threatening Montana trout.
A reduction on cold, clear water is one of these issues. Thus, there is a need to create a conducive environment for trout to be able to survive. Trout require cold, clear water for spawning as well general habitat. An increase in water temperature and/or a reduction in flows in our rivers, if left uncontrolled, can lead to the death of trout.
Furthermore, non-native trout species threaten the local trout population. It’s the law of nature: bigger fish eat smaller ones. A comprehensive solution to this issue may be to adopt systematic habitat management. And, of course, stop the adoption of non-native species. The entertainment of locals and tourists is not a good enough reason for destroying the waters of the big sky state.
People of Montana take trout conservation seriously. The construction of fish barriers that prevent trout from turning into food for other fish species is just one of the actions we have recently taken to protect our waters.
Trout Conservation Methods
Organizations like Trout Unlimited are at the forefront of trout conservation methods adoption. However, real change doesn’t happen unless all of us play our part. A lot of times we can implement some of these methods ourselves.
Mass Education and Awareness
Whether it is trout, other fish, or wildlife conservation, the first step is education. People need to know the effects of their actions and what they can do to support a cleaner environment for everyone.
It is the duty of every angler to spread the word about the dangers that the trout population faces. Even more, local anglers can play a crucial part in educating tourists in conservation methods and best practices on the Montana rivers.
Removing Non-Native Species
A simple way to remove non-native fish from the Montana river is to stop stocking them. Pretty simple, right? It may mean that tourists won’t get the chance to catch huge trout and brag about it on Facebook or Instagram, but it’s a small price to pay.
Dealing with Abandoned Mines
There are lots abandoned mines in Montana. Even if they are no longer active, they still release chemicals and sewage into the surrounding environment. Mine drainage remediation projects are the first step into restoring the water quality of streams and making them trout-friendly again.
Preventing Land Drainage from Finding its Way into the Fish Habitat
It’s not just abandoned mines that represent a danger to trout populations. Land waste like sewage is also a major problem. Changing the destination of drainage is crucial in preventing the rivers from being polluted by oils, chemicals, toxins and even sharp objects. This is another instance in which every Montana resident needs to play their part. Furthermore, we should actively encourage people to refrain from throwing any kind of trash in the water.
At Stillwater Anglers, we practice catch and release as well as crimp the barbs on our flies. We also play and land our fish as quickly as possible and minimize their handling. These practices help to reduce the mortality rate of the fish we catch and return them to the river to grow and reproduce and to be caught another day.
Join Us in our Trout Conservation Efforts
Whether you live in Montana or come here for the amazing fly fishing opportunities, we encourage you to abide by rules, regulations and best practices. Stillwater Anglers proudly supports Montana trout conservation and protection, but it’s not something we can tackle alone.
Trout conservation is a joint task, we must come together if we really care about our trout population and if want it to survive in the next 10 years. Remember: it affects all of us!