Some Thoughts on that Rainbow Trout

by jhwygirl

By email today came news today that the Blackfoot has seen the first fish known to have swim up the Clark’s Fork from below the dam. Pretty big news, considering it hasn’t happened for something like 100 years.

I doubt that rainbow trout was aware of the attention he drew.

The Missoulian’s John Cramer put it quite eloquently, I thought:

The first fish to swim upstream past the old Milltown Dam site in 100 years made the journey Tuesday, slipping silently through the dark waters and into the pages of ecological history.

And so the news traveled – via email, via the Missoulian, via radio.

A second email came with the announcement. This was undoubtedly one really important fish! One recipient hit “reply all” and asked “Do you think he knows he was the first one?”, to which another replied “The guy was probably chasing some tail, so I doubt he even realized what he was doing.”

David Schmetterling, a FWP fisheries biologist, had mixed feelings about the event. From the same Missoulian story:

David Schmetterling, a state fisheries biologist who has studied the dam’s impact for a decade, said he was initially irritated about the young trout’s decision to desert his downstream study.

To which a friend of mine said: “Well, you gotta wonder how many assumptions that fish screwed up.”

To that fish I say “congratulations and good luck,” cause I know some guys who said they were going after him this weekend.

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  1. Jim Lang

    I wanna see a picture of that trout wearing his radio-collar.

  1. 1 Here’s something even more inspiring than that rainbow trout story. « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] a marvelous time in the northern Rockies. It’s wonderful to see our fellow creatures–trout, wolf, waterfowl, grizzly bear–repopulate their historic range or return to Montana from […]




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