You can help
You can help in the fight against whirling disease!
Help contain the spread of the disease.
Reduce chances of spreading whirling disease to a new area Montana’s Whirling Disease Task Force believes anglers, boaters, and others may help combat whirling disease and preserve Montana’s wild trout by following some simple precautions.
Never transport live fish from one place to another. In Montana, it is illegal to move live fish from one water body into other waters.
Before leaving the fishing access site, thoroughly check your boating and fishing equipment for mud and aquatic plants that could be holding tubifex worms and whirling disease spores. When you find mud or aquatic plants clinging to your equipment, wash or scrape them off before departing the fishing access site.
Don’t dispose of fish entrails or skeletal parts in a kitchen disposal. Research has proven that whirling disease spores can survive the wastewater treatment system.
Don’t collect sculpins (also known as bullheads) or use them as bait. It is illegal to transport live fish in Montana.
Its illegal to use trout, whitefish, or salmon parts as cut bait.
Consider the following ways you can reduce stress on fish, to help maintain and preserve the resource.
Don’t disturb spawning trout; they are our hope for the future. Be careful not to disturb fish nests (redds); fish carefully during spawning season so spawning fish are not disturbed; and ask your local Fish, Wildlife, and Parks biologist for tips on recognizing spawning trout.
Trout become stressed when water temperatures exceed 65 degrees, so use particular caution when fishing these warmer waters, or consider limiting your fishing to the coolest times of the day (morning and evening).
If you practice catch and release fishing, improve your techniques to reduce stress on fish. Reduce or eliminate handling by using hook-removal tools, soft, wet gloves–or at least wet your hands-if you must handle a trout.
Limit your catch, whether you practice catch and release fishing techniques or not. Emphasize the quality of the experience, not how many fish are caught.
We thank you … and the trout thank you!