Opinion: Don't believe tribal hype about fish population
Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012
"You’ve been reading about the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, and Trout Unlimited, saying that lake trout are exploding and bull trout are almost extinct and therefore they need to net lake trout. I think just the opposite is true!
Redd counts are the number of spawning beds made by the adult bull trout in the tributaries in the Flathead River drainage. These counts, which began in 1979, are conducted by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists. Current counts state that the bull trout population is stable. Stable means that the bull trout are not on the brink of extinction. You hear there are only 3,000 adult bull trout in Flathead Lake. If you count all age classes of bull trout there are between 50,000 to 130,000 bull trout in the system. A mid-term review of the Flathead Lake co-management plan said lake trout and bull trout populations are both stable. If the biologists can’t agree on the data then how do they come to an agreement on future actions?"
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