Coalition renews request for fisheries task force as drought worsens

For the second year, a conservation coalition is asking Montana’s governor to create a task force to protect the struggling streams and fisheries of southwestern Montana. With the current drought outlook, the need is just as great as it was last year.

On Wednesday, a broad coalition of fly-fishing businesses, conservation organizations, and 875 concerned citizens submitted a second petition to Gov. Greg Gianforte, asking him to create a multi-agency Cold Water Fisheries Task Force to develop strategies to preserve fish populations that are dwindling in the Upper Missouri tributaries that are parched by drought.

That includes not only the dwindling Madison and Jefferson rivers but also the Big Hole River south of Anaconda and the Beaverhead and Ruby rivers. All have suffered from low streamflows due to successive winters with low snowpack and high irrigation demands due to sustained summer heat and drought.

Read more from the Missoula Current here...

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