May 2, 2006

Fisheries biologists with the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Dept. are tagging Clark Fork River trout with radio-telemetry devices to gain a better sense of what impacts the removal of the Milltown Dam will have on fish populations, reports the Missoulian. FWP biologist David Schmetterling said the work is part of an ongoing monitoring effort. Past flushes of sediment from the reservoir have resulted in downstream trout mortality, though FWP was uncertain to the extent. With a drawdown of the Milltown Reservoir scheduled for June and work slated to start in the fall, FWP biologists believe tagging the fish will yield important data.

“It’s just really important for us to be able to understand both the short- and long-term impacts of the dam’s removal,” Schmetterling told the Missoulian. “It will help us in our efforts to manage the fishery in the river long after the dam is gone.”

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