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Bitterroot bass

Not really, I'm still learning the scene here, quite frankly. MI is an amazing place for anglers but it's pretty darned complicated between the cold water and warm water aspects, consent decrees with tribes, etc. For now, it's a lot of reading and supporting groups like MUCC.

I think you can tear yourself apart trying to justify why you like to fish for whatever species, but for me it always comes down to water quality, especially for trout - because that means healthy, functioning ecosystems for so many other species, terrestrial and aquatic. Previous generations made big mistakes across the board on a host of wildlife issues. Brookies in the west, browns in the east, etc.
There is no doubt that water quality does come into play for a lot of rivers. In Wisconsin, there are a lot of rivers that used to host great trout fisheries and those days are long gone (think Milwaukee, Menomonee, Sheboygan, Wisconsin) as a result of dams and water quality. There are though some places where water quality isn't the problem but the introduction of non-native species is and its unfortunately supported not just by the public but by the State department who listens to the public and intentionally plants them there!
 
They're in the Columbia but I've never seen or heard of one caught up any of the tribs.
I assume you mean upstream closer to your neck of the woods, but some famous HuntTalker recently posted photos of catching smallmouth on the John Day river. I can't remember who it was at the moment though... ;)


I've caught them in lower reaches of the Yakima, Walla Walla and Touchet as well.
 
I assume you mean upstream closer to your neck of the woods, but some famous HuntTalker recently posted photos of catching smallmouth on the John Day river. I can't remember who it was at the moment though... ;)


I've caught them in lower reaches of the Yakima, Walla Walla and Touchet as well.
True, I was being rather selective with that comment. I've never caught one in the Descehutes, klick, white, wind, wenatchee, entiat, methow. But have in the Okanogan...
 
Pike have absolutely taken hold in the Bitterroot.

I agree that the reasons for Montana’s recent precipitous decline in our western River fisheries has way more to do with lack of water and warm water and ridiculous amounts of use than anything. Still no bueno to have another thing that piles on to the few remaining native fish( I’m not talking about browns and bows).

For a long time I have felt that the folks pushing for minimum streamflow legislation were unreasonable, but the longer this goes on the more amenable I am to that incredibly unlikely nuclear option.
So people are catching pike on a regular basis on the Root?
Might have to check that out sometime.
 
NMDGF had a northern pike problem in Bluewater Lake near Grants, NM. Introduced pike were decimating a great trout fishery. The fix was to stock muskie which have now managed the pike problem.
 
So people are catching pike on a regular basis on the Root?
Might have to check that out sometime.
yeah you can definitely catch them in the lower bitterroot and clark fork below Missoula. The Blackfoot river biologist told a friend that they are still present in very low densities. Either remnant in the Blackfoot from Milltown dam, which had shit tons of pike or they wash down from the Clearwater.

There are other weird remnants in the Clark Fork in Missoula. I was a fisheries student at UM and we would electrofish a ditch by the University in the Fall to salvage fish before it dried up. It was also a good opportunity to to learn how to e-fish. There were a few odd yellow perch and pumkin seed that my professor thought had been barely hanging on after Milltown was taken out.
 
NMDGF had a northern pike problem in Bluewater Lake near Grants, NM. Introduced pike were decimating a great trout fishery. The fix was to stock muskie which have now managed the pike problem.
They probably, well, hopefully planted tiger muskies, the problem fixes itself. Tiger muskie can be a heck of a management tool if used correctly
 
yeah you can definitely catch them in the lower bitterroot and clark fork below Missoula. The Blackfoot river biologist told a friend that they are still present in very low densities. Either remnant in the Blackfoot from Milltown dam, which had shit tons of pike or they wash down from the Clearwater.

There are other weird remnants in the Clark Fork in Missoula. I was a fisheries student at UM and we would electrofish a ditch by the University in the Fall to salvage fish before it dried up. It was also a good opportunity to to learn how to e-fish. There were a few odd yellow perch and pumkin seed that my professor thought had been barely hanging on after Milltown was taken out.
Thanks for the information. Interesting to hear perspective from a more academic angle.
The last 6 years, or so, I have really ramped up pursuing pike on a fly. I have fished in locations across the state. Kinda crazed by it in the Spring, along with turkey hunting.
Sounds like I should check out the waters discussed above.
Is there a particular Bio to talk to for further information?
Thanks @atlas .
 
Thanks for the information. Interesting to hear perspective from a more academic angle.
The last 6 years, or so, I have really ramped up pursuing pike on a fly. I have fished in locations across the state. Kinda crazed by it in the Spring, along with turkey hunting.
Sounds like I should check out the waters discussed above.
Is there a particular Bio to talk to for further information?
Thanks @atlas .
You can find them in the Root as far South as Florence. mtmuley
 
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They probably, well, hopefully planted tiger muskies, the problem fixes itself. Tiger muskie can be a heck of a management tool if used correctly
Yes, tiger muskie and the daily limit is one whale 40”+ on those. Another thing is I revised the history on these. They were placed to take down goldfish and white suckers, not northerns. I heard from a guy years ago that’s why the muskies were released then looked it up today and nope.
 
Thanks for the information. Interesting to hear perspective from a more academic angle.
The last 6 years, or so, I have really ramped up pursuing pike on a fly. I have fished in locations across the state. Kinda crazed by it in the Spring, along with turkey hunting.
Sounds like I should check out the waters discussed above.
Is there a particular Bio to talk to for further information?
Thanks @atlas .
https://myfwp.mt.gov/getRepositoryFile?objectID=33670

This is old but there’s lots of info on the pike that we’re in milltown. FWP did a pretty intensive removal in the reservoir. From what I remember it only shifted the average size of pike down but it didn’t change the overall biomass of pike.
 
Thanks for the information. Interesting to hear perspective from a more academic angle.
The last 6 years, or so, I have really ramped up pursuing pike on a fly. I have fished in locations across the state. Kinda crazed by it in the Spring, along with turkey hunting.
Sounds like I should check out the waters discussed above.
Is there a particular Bio to talk to for further information?
Thanks @atlas .
There’re a lot more pike in the root than folks realize. Go in the early spring on a sunny day and you’ll see them in the sloughs sunning themselves. You’ll catch them in the main stem in the slack water too. Check out the downstream side of Kona bridge in Missoula if you want to see some easily.
 
There’re a lot more pike in the root than folks realize. Go in the early spring on a sunny day and you’ll see them in the sloughs sunning themselves. You’ll catch them in the main stem in the slack water too. Check out the downstream side of Kona bridge in Missoula if you want to see some easily.
Good intel.
I'm also curious about Lower Clark Fork. Been spending some time this year exploring that area for other pursuits. Never fished from Missoula to the West other than creeks, did Noxon once.
Usually go East to fish and hunt in late spring but trying to map out some options in the opposite direction for April, to include Idaho.
Thanks for some more ideas.
 
I targeted them with fly tackle on the lower Bitterroot near Lolo for the first time this summer when water temps on the big rivers were too high for trout. Caught a few small ones without too much effort or know-how. Saw big fish, but couldn’t get them to take a fly. It was fun, though I wish they weren’t there.

My method was to walk the banks and look in deep slack water and around structure. Unfortunately, they’re not hard to find.

I’ll probably try to put a bend in the 8wt this spring before runoff. I’ll echo Hem and would happily take some more ideas from folks who know.
 
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