FWP issues mandatory kill order for brown trout caught on Kootenai River

Posted at 5:48 PM, Apr 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-23 19:48:04-04

A new regulation change is in place by Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks in hopes of preventing populations of brown trout from establishing in a section of river between Libby Dam and Kootenai Falls, native to world-class rainbow and bull trout.

FWP approved a proposal last week requiring all brown trout caught on the Kootenai River between Libby Dam and Kootenai Falls to be killed immediately, kept and reported to FWP within 24 hours.

Earlier this year, FWP confirmed the first documented brown trout in the Kootenai River upstream of Kootenai Falls. The section where the brown trout was captured contains a naturally reproducing population of world-class rainbow trout.

Bull trout, a species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, also frequent the area.

FWP Region 1 Education officer Dillon Tabish says the regulation in addition to active removal during FWP fisheries survey work will be used to hopefully remove brown trout before they become established.

"Anyone who catches a brown trout on that section of river has to immediately kill the fish and report it to Fish, Wildlife and Parks so we can study it and make sure there are not additional brown trout populating that river," said Tabish.

The proposal was unanimously approved at last weeks Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting in Helena.