Counting Fish – Montana’s Fishing Log Program

counting fish 1Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman MT
It’s a common set of questions in our fly fishing world. How was the fishing? How many did you catch? How big?, what kind?, where? Of course we provide answers—exaggerations, understatements, misinformation and occasionally the truth. In fact, truthful answers to these questions are useful to those who are charged with managing the resource. As early as 1951, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks used angler’s logs to help manage fisheries in the state. Mandated assessments of water quality and research on Whirling Disease have benefited from data collected from angler’s logs. Today there’s a formal Fishing Log Program where anglers from around the state maintain a record of their catches in a small waterproof log provided by the department. Collected at the end of each season, the data from the logs is compiled into a comprehensive summary detailing the collective fishing activity of those participating in the program. I’ve been keeping a Montana Fishing Log since 2009 and have my logs for each year since. The department returns the logs to anglers each January with a new, empty log for the coming season. Even visiting out of state anglers are encouraged to participate.

Continue reading → Counting Fish – Montana’s Fishing Log Program