Fishing

Montana's disaster that never happened: Ending trout stocking.

Here's a cool article from the Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks about its 1974 decision to stop stocking trout in streams.

It bordered on heresy at the time, but proof of its success is nearly unargued. The state attracts trout anglers from all over the world and boasts not just a few hot fishing destinations, but a whole state full of rivers with healthy populations of wild trout.

There's a lesson there, no doubt, especially in state's like Idaho where millions are spent to stock trout in rivers during a time of tight budgets

Here's an excerpt from an article and Q&A about Montana's historic decision. You can read the whole thing in a link below.

"In 1974, Montana did something that stunned anglers across the state and the nation: It stopped stocking trout in streams and rivers that supported wild trout populations.

"The move initially outraged many anglers, fishing businesses, and even some Montana Fish and Game Department staff. For decades, hatcheries had been credited with producing more and better fishing. Without stocking, many Montanans asked, what would happen to the state’s famous trout waters and the businesses that relied on legions of anglers arriving from across the country each summer?

"The answer, now well known, is that trout fishing improved dramatically. Once stocking was discontinued, wild trout numbers doubled, tripled, and more on many rivers."

Read the whole story here.

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