Opinion: Debate over Salish and Kootenai Tribes fishing plans

"There’s a big debate raging here locally. It concerns getting rid of lake trout (mackinaw) in Flathead Lake in order to provide a home for bull trout and cutthroat.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe has proposed gill-netting 150,000 lake trout per year to reduce the large population in the lake. The Tribe, with other sponsors, currently conducts annual “Mack Days” fishing events in its efforts to reduce lake trout populations. Somewhere near 70,000 fish are pulled out of the lake each spring and fall in this competition and it provides great sport for anglers and treasure seekers (the fish are tagged and anglers catching certain fish can win thousands of dollars).

On the other side of the issue are sport anglers and the state Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP). Sport anglers as you might guess do not want lake trout removed from the lake. Folks pay them to fish them out. Sport anglers like to get paid and their income bounces around our economy nicely."

Get the Story:
Rep. Janna Taylor: To gill-net or not to gill-net (The Polson Leader 4/26)

Related Stories:
Opinion: Don't believe tribal hype about fish population (4/12)

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