Skip to main content Skip to main content

Bucket Biology Case Renders Giant Reward

Bucket Biology Case

A massive reward is being offered for information related to illegal stocking of walleye in Swan Lake, located near Kalispell, MT. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and Trout Unlimited are offering a reward of up to $35,250 for information on the illegally introduced fish.

As reported by KTVQ.com, "According to FWP's Region 6 Office, two walleye were found in Swan Lake in October 2015. The two walleye were caught in a gill net. FWP says it was the first time walleye were discovered in Swan Lake."

"FWP biologists used chemical analysis from the fishes' inner ear bones to trace their origin. They compared their findings to walleye from more than a dozen other popular Montana fisheries. Through their analysis, the biologists learned the two fish came from Lake Helena and had been illegally introduced into Swan Lake sometime in the Spring of 2015."


The FWP posted photos of the walleye captured in 2015 on their Facebook page.


Swan Lake is has a long history of management by the state of Montana to favor native fish, in particular, the threatened Bull Trout. According to the state Fish and Wildlife department,

"Lake trout were first detected in the Swan River drainage in 1998 and juvenile fish were first captured in gillnets in 2003, indicating that reproduction was occurring. A graduate study initiated in 2006 revealed that lake trout up to 16 years old were present in Swan Lake, and confirmed that the population has been steadily increasing since the early 1990's. Although the exact mechanism causing the recent decline in bull trout numbers is unknown, it is likely that 20 years of increasing lake trout numbers could be a factor."

Walleye -- while considered an excellent sport and table fish when taken from their native waters -- are voracious predators, and can decimate populations of juvenile trout. They are typically successful in reproduction as well, and represent a significant competitor to trout for food sources. The introduction to Swan lake may represent a greater threat than that of Lake Trout owing to their faster maturation and associated population increases.

Illegal stocking of non-native fishes by the general citizenry represents a threat to not only environmental balances, but to taxpayer funded sporting resources. When someone engages in "Bucket Biology" to introduce their favorite fish to a foreign watershed, they are essentially stealing millions of dollars of funding for fisheries operations, manpower and enforcement. Please report all instances of suspected illegal stocking to your local fish and game management office.




Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

How to Tie the Black Beauty Fly

How to Tie the Black Beauty Fly

Master fly tier Charlie Craven discusses the tools and materials needed to tie the Black Beauty fly.

Tying the Perdigon Fly

Tying the Perdigon Fly

Charlie Craven shows how to tie the Perdigon Fly, step by step in this video guide.

Rod Tapping While Euro Nymphing

Rod Tapping While Euro Nymphing

George Daniels demonstrates the act of "rod tapping" while Euro nymphing.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Fly Fisherman App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Fly Fisherman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Fly Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now