The Big Hole, Ruby, and Beaverhead Rivers have had a fish problem for several years. Now, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks is asking anglers to log on to a website to report any sick or dead fish they see along those rivers.
“Fish health does play a role in that and so one of the things we’re hoping to do is gather more information and involved the public in that process,” FWP’s Morgan Jacobsen said.
There's just a handful of fish biologists to patrol the 298 miles of those three rivers. With the anglers on those rivers, you have hundreds of built-in observers.
“You can do it right from your phone and it’s going to ask for some information. Most importantly what we’re looking for is location, the date, and any photos that people can upload,” Jacobsen said.
This will allow FWP to pinpoint potential problem areas that can lead to the discovery of potential problems which can ultimately lead to solutions. The sick fish portal can lead to a healthy fish river system.
“We can’t be everywhere at once. We try to spend as much time in the field as we can but there’s a lot of area to cover in Southwest Montana. This is one way for people to be the eyes and ears for Fish, Wildlife and Parks wherever it’s needed,” Jacobsen said.
Grab your phone and remember the simple address. The rest is pretty simple.
“Sickfish.mt.govis the website address. You can get to it from your phone, your office, or wherever. It is a really good way to provide a direct line for people to the department in providing real-time information on what you’re seeing in the field,” Jacobsen said.