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Illegal Fish Harm Coldwater Systems
Northwest Montana offers some of the finest waterways in Montana, spread across a variety of land ownerships. Waters in our part of the state are a public treasure and draw people from across the United States and beyond. As land and population managers, we share in the responsibility to manage and conserve these incredible resources with all the people who use and enjoy them.

One of the biggest issues to emerge in recent years is the threat posed to our aquatic resources from invasive and introduced species, ranging from zebra mussels to introduced non-native fish such as walleye. These introduced species threaten the special and valuable native fisheries systems in our part of the state as well as across Montana. Species like bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout are key components of our cold water ecosystems. When illegally or accidentally introduced species invade our waters, the changes they set in motion degrade habitats for native fish species and can disrupt entire ecosystems. Whether these introduced species compete with native fish, prey on them or alter the food chain, the effects can be devastating for native fish and other aquatic organisms we value greatly.


 
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Lock and Dam Changes Aimed at Stopping Invasive Carp - Bighead, silver and other invasive carp have been making their way upstream since escaping into the Mississippi River in the 1970s. These large fish are voracious eaters that compete with native species and pose a threat to rivers and lakes. While no breeding populations have been detected in Minnesota waters, individual fish have been caught in the Mississippi near the Twin Cities, the St. Croix River and the Minnesota River.


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