eDNA Trout Tracking Featured at November 17 BRTU Meeting

 

eDNA Trout Tracking Featured at November 17 BRTU Meeting

 

Kellie Carim, PhD,  a scientist at National Genomics Center for Wildlife and Fish Conservation  will present the program at our next BRTU meeting, titled “eDNA: tracking trout with DNA and modern molecular biology.” The meeting is Thursday, November 17, and starts at 7:00 PM at the Hamilton Elks Lodge at 203 State Street in Hamilton.

 

 What is eDNA and why is it of interest to TU members and conservationists? eDNA stands for environmental DNA and reflects the latest modern methodology to be employed in fisheries biology. As you can see from the photos that Mike Schwartz took of Kellie at work, the scientists go out to a stream and using carefully designed protocols run samples of water through a special filter. Back in the lab, scientists like Kellie extract the DNA from the minuscule amounts of mucous, scales, cells and biological debris that have been trapped on the filter. Then using the very latest and unbelievably powerful DNA technology and associated computer analysis, they can determine the types of fish in a particular section of river or creek. If looking for native cutthroat trout in a river system is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, eDNA technology has the effect of making the needle enormous and the haystack very small. This site has a nice description of eDNA and Kellie’s work.

With the results of the eDNA studies on a stream, MFWP biologists can now confirm the presence of native or non-native fish and focus their management and survey work. The method can also be used to look for invasive non-native aquatic species, like weeds and zebra mussels. Chris Clancy tells me that the method is even being used here in the Bitterroot.

So does this mean we will soon have a pocket test to see if there are trout in that run where we can’t get a strike? Come to the meeting and find out!

The public is invited to attend and there is no charge for admission

And, remember! We will be having dinner with Kellie at Spice of Life at 5:00 pm before the meeting. Long-time TU supporter Karen Suennen will be donating 10% of the proceeds to our club. So please come join us for dinner.

For more information, please contact Greg Chester, or Marshall Bloom 

 

 

Streamflows and Weather Prediction. Cross Your Fingers!

 

The amount of rain that we had last month in the Bitterroot and other parts of Western Montana was truly astounding. Many locations in the Flathead had record high amounts of precipitation and streamflows were running well above average.

This story from the Missoulian gives a good summary of rainflow as of November 1.

The Bitterroot River hydrograph at Darby shows how good the flows there have been, but you can also see how quickly the river drops once the rain stops.  The flows in the Clark Fork near Missoula are really something. You can go to this USGS site to check out data for all the streams in the state. It will become apparent that not all streams have been as fortunate as the Kootenai Clark Fork drainages. All in all, most would agree that we are going into winter with well hydrated systems!

This link is to the DNRC’s Basin by Basin Water Supply Report compiled by Ada C. Montague, who is State Water Planner for the Clark Fork & Kootenai Basins. The report may need some revision after the deluge of October, but it is informative.

Of course, the situation next year depends on snowfall this winter, what spring is like and if we get rain next summer. The National Weather Service in Missoula recently issued its forecast for the coming winter. You can see their predictions for the Northern Rockies at this YouTube site.

 

 

Short Casts…….

 

Picture of the Week 

 

This week’s photo was submitted by Tonia Bloom. The picture was snapped by during a gorgeous fall float on the Lower Clark Fork in late October.

Old Esox viciously struck an 8 inch heavily-weighted tandem streamer fly lobbed into its lair on a 9 wt rod with a steel tippet. This was a very healthy specimen estimated to be over 20 pounds and close to 40 inches – the largest fish that Jack or I had ever seen caught on a fly. Doubtful this fish got so big eating tricos or PMDs.

A couple of days later as I was showing the photo to Jim at Freestone Flies and Guides, he showed me a photo of 4 20+ inch pike caught by an angler wading downstream from Stevensville.

It is hard to know if the marked increase in pike being caught indicates expansion in range and numbers, or people looking for some variety in angling experiences. Time will tell. In the meantime, if you hear of a pike being caught upstream of Stevensville, please email me.

**********************

Thanks, John Hickman.

Perennial attendees at our BRTU banquets may have noticed that a regular figure wasn’t there. Retired Marine Corps Captain John Hickman died on October 13. John had been in failing health for the last couple of years. Prior to his death, his family and friends had donated some of John’s well-cared for tackle to BRTU and they were used at the banquet.

John could be seen at the banquet prowling the items and filling out raffle tickets with his pipe bobbing in his teeth. Unfailingly friendly and polite, he was usually in the company of another retired Marine family, Jim and Marilee Shockley.

We would like to acknowledge John, his family and his friends for their support and friendship over the years. 

 

 

Monte Dolack prints 

now available at Joe’s Studio

Copies of the limited edition “Bitterroot River-Lost Horse Bend” by Monte Dolack are now available at Joe’s Studio. BRTU commissioned Monte Dolack to create this iconic print of the Bitterroot River.

All prints are numbered and signed by Monte. Unframed prints are $175 and all proceeds support BRTU efforts to protect trout and streams. 

Joe’s Studio, a regular sponsor of our banquets, is located in Hamilton at 220 Marcus Street (961-4586, joesstudio@aol.com)

 For additional information, please contact Marshall Bloom (drtrout@mtbloom.net, 363-3485)

The “U” in BRTU

Unlike many groups, BTRU has no paid staff. We are an entirely volunteer organization. We are always looking for new members to get involved in projects or to join our board and assist with maintaining our focus on native fish, clean healthy streams and education. If you would like to help out, please contact BRTU Chapter President Greg Chester at gchester55@aol.com. We could sure use your help!

In other words, how about putting a little “U” in BRTU?

If  “U” are not already a member, “U” can join TU today by going to the Montana TU website http://montanatu.org/ Our chapter number is #080.

For your information, here is a tabulation of our current hard-working BRTU officers and board members.

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October 14 BRTU banquet: better get your tickets!

The 37th annual BRTU banquet is less than 2 weeks away and tickets are really moving!! 2016banquetThis year the banquet will be on Friday, October 14 at the Bitterroot River Inn, and will start at 5:00 pm.

Tickets are on sale now  in Hamilton at Freestone Fly Shop, Chuck Stranahan’s Fly Shop and Angler’s Roost, and in Darby at Bitterroot Fly Company and Freestone Fly Shop. The price of tickets remains at $50.00. There are still tickets left and they will be available at the door, but we are looking at another sellout. So, you had better get your tickets and make your plans to attend now.

This year we have some amazing Live Auction premiums including float trips donated by Jack Mauer, Scott Nicolarsen, Rick Thomas,  and Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone. On top of that, Dave and Chris Decker at The Complete Fly Fisher, Craig Fellin at the Big Hole Lodge, and the exclusive Ranch at Rock Creek have donated premiums that include accommodations and fishing. There will be artwork, photography and pottery donated by local artisans, rods by Orvis, Sage, R.L. Winston and Loomis as well as Orvis reels, Atlantic salmon flies, and Simms gear. Several gourmet dinners are on tap, one with soft piano jazz. It is not possible to list everything, but here is a list of Live Auction premiums.

This year we will be doing a paddle call to support our flagship Bitterroot Buggers program that is approaching the 20 year anniversary. We will debut a video about the Buggers produced and directed by one of our high school board members, Minica Casbara. The Buggers have made a real difference for a lot of young people and you wont want to miss this video.

Remember that in addition to being one of the most fun events in the Bitterroot, the banquet is our only fund raiser of the year. So our success is completely dependent upon your generosity!

SusanThis stunning pen and ink drawing and wash “Raptor in Flight” has been donated by artist Susan Connell and will be featured in the Live Auction. You can read more about it in the attached list of Live Auction premiums .

Remember that in addition to being one of the most fun events in the Bitterroot, the banquet is our only fund raiser of the year. So our success is completely dependent upon your generosity!

Afliesnother unique Live Auction item “Match the Hatch in 14 Karat.” This premium features 4 iconic Bitterroot dry flies tied by legend John Foust on 4 14 karat gold hooks made by local jewelry artist Cindy Mikesell. Each fly has a sapphire at the point, and they can be used as a pin or a tie-tack. The flies are displayed in a small flybox of exotic hardwoods donated by Jay Haglund and Donna Woodroof. It is doubtful anyone would fish with these treasure, but they are really beautiful!

For more information on the banquet or to volunteer as a helper, please contact Greg ChesterMarshall Bloom or Peggy Ratcheson.

 

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2016-2017 BRTU Chapter Meeting Program Schedule

The list of programs for BRTU’s 2016-2017 has been finalized. The meetings are the 3rd Thursday of the month through April, 2017, excluding December 2016.

All meetings start at 7:00 pm Hamilton Elks Club, 203 State St in Hamilton. The public is welcome to attend and there is no charge for admission.

Here is the list (subject to change), but I am also attaching a pdf of the program schedule:

September 15, 2016 – Colin Cooney, Trout Unlimited, Montana Field Coordinator, Helena, MT “The Smith River mine: a Montana treasure in peril.”

October 20, 2016 – Kim Vietz, Executive Director, Teller Wildlife Refuge, Corvallis, MT, “Teller Wildlife Refuge: pioneering private land conservation in the Bitterroot Valley.”

November 17, 2016 – Kellie Carim, PhD,  National Genomics Center for Wildlife and Fish Conservation, USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station, Missoula, MT., “E-DNA: tracking trout with DNA and modern molecular biology.”

January 19, 2017- Marissa Sowles, GEUM, Hamilton, MT, “Resuscitating the Clark Fork River to restore a wild trout fishery.”

February 16, 2017 – Bruce Farling, Executive Director, and David Brooks, Director of Conservation, Montana Trout Unlimited, “Montana trout conservation: where are we and where are we going?”

March 16, 2017 – Jeremy Anderson, DDS, Victor, Montana, “Scouting for giant tarpon in Gabon and off the west coast of Africa.”

April 20, 2017- Brett Bowersox, Fishery Staff Biologist, Idaho Fish and Game, Lewiston, ID, “Wild steelhead monitoring and management in the state of Idaho: keeping Idaho chrome.”

To join or for additional information about Trout Unlimited, go to www.montanatu.org, or contact Greg Chester at  (406) 363-0033 or gchester55@aol.com.

And don’t forget we will be having dinner with the presenters, BRTU members and friends at 5:00 pm at the Spice of Life. Long-time BRTU support Karen Suennen will donate 10% of the proceeds to BRTU.

Street Hamilton, MT 59840-2522
(406) 363-3031  Click here for directions

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New Fishing Access Site proposed for Stevensville

According to a news article in this week’s Bitterroot Star, a proposed land swap near the Stevensville bridge would lead to an improved Fishing Access Site (FAS).

State Senator Fred Thomas made the proposal to the Stevensville City Council on behalf of the landowner. The land trade would be between the City of Stevensville and the land owner, but a Memorandum of Understanding would commit MFWP to develop and maintain the project under its FAS program. The proposal envisions parking spots for both truck/trailer units and single vehicles, and would include a concrete latrine.

MFWP supports the proposal, as do former BRTU Chapter President Eddie Olwell, and the Ravalli County Fish and Wildlife Association. BRTU has not yet taken a position on the project, and no action was taken at the meeting by the Stevi City Council.

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Volunteers still REALLY needed For April 19 Buggers last class!

The next Buggers night is Tuesday, April 19.
This last night of class is dedicated to casting instruction and our final class of the season TBA will include an outdoor picnic and fishing for the kids.

Last week’s tying class went very well, but we were really short of helpers! A ratio of one helper for every 2 students is optimal and we want to keep that ratio in the coming weeks. I am including a few pictures that Peg Miskin took to encourage your participation.

Come down and help on our flagship program. The kids this year are really great and very attentive, so they are a pleasure to work with. You do not need to be a skilled tier to be of major assistance. We are nearing the end of the classes, so the tying skills of the students have improved significantly. This makes it a lot more fun to assist.

Class is from 6:30 – 8:00 PM in the Hamilton Middle School located on Madison between 5th and 6th St.  Enter through the blue door with a yellow flower.

Questions? Contact Joe Byrne of the Keystone Program at  369-0568 or Greg Chester at gchester55@aol.com

Thanks in advance for your valued assistance -

BRTU and Keystone Enrichment Program

IMG_0790 IMG_0797 IMG_0802

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April 21 BRTU meeting to feature St Joe, Kelly Creek and North Fork of the Clearwater!

Holy Cutthroat! The number of inquiries I have had about the upcoming meeting about Kelly Creek, The St Joe and the North Fork of the Clearwater is nothing short of amazing. I am guessing this will be on the best attended meetings we have ever had. BRTU.02

So, the April 21 BRTU meeting is one you won’t want to miss.  Joe DuPont from the Idaho Fish and Game will be coming over from Lewiston, ID to talk about the St Joe River, Kelly Creek and the North Fork of the Clearwater River.

The meeting will start at 7:00 PM on Thursday, April 21 at the Hamilton Elks Club at 203 State Street in Hamilton. The title of Joe’s talk is “The St. Joe, Kelly Creek,and the North Fork of the Clearwater: exceptional fishing right next door.” Joe sent some very savory pictures of the streams and the fish.BRTU-01

It turns out that by driving a little further and buying an Idaho license, you can enjoy some of the best fishing in the northwest. The St. Joe, Kelly Creek, and the North Fork of the Clearwater offer relatively uncrowded and exceptional angling opportunities. A few Bitterroot hardies have made the short trip and all agree the fishing is more than worth the drive.

The catch and release management offers the chance to catch some magnificent trout, the access is pretty easy, and the scenery is what fly fishing ought to be like.BRTU.ct-trout

This will be our last general membership meeting until October. so you don’t want to miss this.

As always, the public is invited to attend and there is no charge for admission.

For additional information, please contact Greg Chester or Marshall Bloom

And, remember! We will be having dinner with Joe at Spice of Life at 5:00 pm before the meeting. Long-time TU supporter Karen Suennen will be donating 10% of the proceeds to our club. So please come join us for dinner.

Information for Elks Lodge 203 State
Street Hamilton, MT 59840-2522
(406) 363-3031  Click here for directions

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Volunteers REALLY Needed For March 22 Buggers Flytying Class

The next Buggers tying night is Tuesday, March 22. The first class went well and the students are a great bunch of kids, but additional helpers are desperately needed! A ratio of one helper for every 2 students is optimal and we were nowhere near that.

So, this is a plea for you to come down and help on our flagship program. You do not need to be a skilled tier to be of major assistance.

Classes are from 6:30 – 8:00 PM in the Hamilton Middle School located on Madison between 5th and 6th St. Enter through the blue door with a yellow flower.

The pattern for the coming class is the traditional wet fly Gray Hackle Peacock.

Don’t forget that each night you help you earn a raffle ticket for a unmounted Monte Dolack print valued at $175. The more you attend, the better your chances! We’ll be judging flies each night for those students choosing to enter. Be sure to review judging criteria and instructor guidelines when you arrive.

Questions? Call Joe Byrne of the Keystone Program at 369-0568 or Marshall Bloom of BRTU at 363-3485. Thanks in advance for your valued assistance – BRTU and Keystone Enrichment Program

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St. Paddy’s Day BRTU Program to Feature Bitterroot Water Resources

 “Whiskey’s for drinkin’, water’s for fightin!” 

BRTU1So for our St Paddy’s Day program we have a scheduled a program about water  in the Bitterroot. The meeting will start at 7:00 pm on Thursday, March 17 at the Hamilton Elks Lodge at 203 State St in Hamilton.

The speakers will be Ginette Abdo and Todd Myse from the Ground Water Investigation Program at the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology in Butte. The title of their program is “Irrigation Recharge and Groundwater Studies in the Bitterroot Valley: looking for links in the chain”BRTU2

The first part will  discuss the impacts and implications of irrigation on groundwater recharge using several examples throughout the State. For the second part, hydrogeological aspects of the Stevensville-Hamilton Ground Water Investigation Program project areas will be presented. This section will include the overall scope of work and preliminary results such as long-term groundwater trends and the use of numerical groundwater models to help predict future land use changes.BRTU3

As always, the public is invited to attend and there is no charge for admission.

For additional information, please contact Greg Chester or Marshall Bloom

And, remember! We will be having dinner with Tom at Spice of Life at 5:00 pm before the meeting. Long-time TU supporter Karen Suennen will be donating 10% of the proceeds to our club. So please come join us for dinner.

Information for Elks Lodge 203 State
Street Hamilton, MT 59840-2522
(406) 363-3031  Click here for directions

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Kootenai River Sturgeon featured at February 18 BRTU Meeting

The February 18, 2016 meeting of Bitterroot Trout Unlimited will feature Tom Parker, GEUM Environmental Consultants, presenting a program on the Kootenai River White Sturgeon.

sturgeonThe Kootenai River White Sturgeon is one of Montana’s most  ancient native fish. Isolated for thousands of years from other Columbia River sturgeons, this unique and magnificent fish became a unique species, but it has suffered mightily from  a number of factors including development, habitat destruction and the impact of Lake Koocanusa Dam on the Kootenai. A remnant population barely hangs on, but some very dedicated and talented biologists and streampeople

restoration experts working with the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho have mounted a strong effort to keep this special native species from checking out completely.

 aerial

GEUM in Hamilton, is one of the key players in this program, and the scale of the work they are doing is truly astonishing. GEUM President Tom Parker is going to give an overview of the fish and the program intended to give the sturgeon a fighting chance today. If you care about native fish species and want to learn about the Kootenai River White Sturgeon, you won’t want to miss this program. tiny.sturgeon

The meeting will start at 7:00 pm at the Hamilton Elks Club, 203 State Street in Hamilton. There is no charge for admission and the public is invited to attend.

For additional information, please contact Greg Chester or Marshall Bloom

And, remember! We will be having dinner with Tom at Spice of Life at 5:00 pm before the meeting. Long-time TU supporter Karen Suennen will be donating 10% of the proceeds to our club. So please come join us for dinner.

Information for Elks Lodge 203 State
Street Hamilton, MT 59840-2522
(406) 363-3031  Click here for directions

 

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2016 Bitterroot Buggers program Tuesday evenings 3-8 thru 4-19 FREE

This program is open to Bitterroot youth ages 9-14. Registration Forms are available at Freestone Fly Shop and www.hsd3.org, then choose programs and keystone.

The youth will get an Introduction to fly-tying and fly-fishing; included are
 5 popular patterns
 Essential knots
 Basics of casting
 Picnic and fishing day

For More Info Call:  369-2213 or 375-9999
Sponsored by Bitterroot Trout Unlimited in partnership with Keystone Enrichment ProgramBuggersFlyer2016

 

 

Posted in Bitter Root Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Bitterroot Buggers (Kids), Special program open to public | Leave a comment