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Decline in Kootenai bull trout affects fishing rules


   The bull trout is listed as a threatened species in the continental United States.  
 (File/Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
The bull trout is listed as a threatened species in the continental United States. (File/Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

FISHERIES -- This fall’s bull trout spawning was 78 percent of the 10-year average in streams feeding Montana’s Kootenai River below Libby Dam, and 70 percent of the 10-year average in streams feeding Lake Koocanusa north of the dam.

A decline in redd counts in both drainages over the last few years prompted Montana biologists to recommend changes in fishing regulations that had allowed angler to keep two bull trout per year from Lake Koocanusa, one of the few places anglers are allowed to keep the threatened species.

Last year, that limit was lowered to one bull trout and a change to catch-and-release only regulations for 2012 was approved by the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission on Nov. 10.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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