A brown trout caught by an angler on the Kootenai River in February is the likely result of an illegal fish introduction, according to FWP officials. During the Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting on April 19th, the Commission moved to approve a proposal that would require anglers to immediately kill and report any brown trout landed in the section from Kootenai Falls to Libby Dam.
If a brown trout population was able to become established in the section, there would likely be negative impacts to the Kootenai’s world-class rainbow trout fishery and to threatened bull trout populations. In many cases, non-native species are known to out-compete native species for space and resources.
MWF Conservation Director Nick Gevock testified at the Commission meeting in favor of the proposed regulation change.
“We are doing this because this is the right thing to do” Gevock Said. “We don’t want to establish an incentive for people to do unauthorized introductions.”
FWP will now look to determine where the brown trout may have come from and whether a population is currently being established.