Now is the time to speak up for clean water!

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Though we are now in the middle of archery season and many sportsmen and sportswomen have headed to the mountains for big game, the month of September to many anglers is an opportunity to have some amazing fishing. In addition to some great dry fly fishing, pre-spawn fish are often aggressive and for those anglers who like to fish with large streamers, there is no better time of year to get on the water to search for large, aggressive trout. Fall is a great time to seek large brown trout as they prepare to spawn, and rainbows as well as cutthroats are also very aggressive and will actively chase streamers.

While on the water this fall, it is important to remember why Montana’s rivers are amongst the greatest trout fisheries in the world; clean water. Without the high-quality habitat and clean headwater streams that feed our larger rivers, Montana would not have these robust wild trout populations. That’s why it’s more important now, more than ever, to stand up for clean water.

The Environmental Protection Agency is currently seeking to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule which created protections for intermittent streams and wetlands across the United States. These waters account for approximately 60% of streams in the country, and without the protections, would be at risk of being polluted or degraded. For trout, these headwater streams are important in sustaining trout populations across the state.

Apart from our fish, the streams and wetlands that also provide clean drinking water to Montana communities and wildlife. It is time to speak up for Montana’s clean water and for fish and wildlife. Please send your comments to the Environmental Protection Agency and tell them not to repeal the Clean Water Rule.  It takes only a few minutes to submit your comments!

- Alec Underwood is MWF’s Western Montana Field Representative