Bitterroot Fishing Regulations- A Little History

Old406Kid

Active Member
#1
The first regulation on fishing in the Bitterroot banned the use of dynamite for taking fish in the late 1890s. In 1956, a daily limit of 15 trout was imposed. That dropped to 10 trout in 1960, and today it’s down to three. One 26-mile reach between Hamilton and Florence has been limited to catch-and-release.

Oh for the good old days.:eek:
 

Trapper

ISO brown liquor and wild salmonoids
#2
Are you saying you wish you could toss some “Dupont Spinners” into the Bitterroot?

If you are feeling nostalgic you could visit the Higher Ground brewery for beer and pizza. It won’t bring the good old days back but it’s a fun experience.
 

Old406Kid

Active Member
#3
Are you saying you wish you could toss some “Dupont Spinners” into the Bitterroot?

If you are feeling nostalgic you could visit the Higher Ground brewery for beer and pizza. It won’t bring the good old days back but it’s a fun experience.
No, hence the EEK symbol :eek::D
As a heathenistic 69 year old that grew up in Montana it's still hard to imagine... but then there are those days.:)
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
#4
I can remember when Washington State had a fish limit of 16 fish. Any size. Me and my Brother in law went fishing and the next day we had a fish fry.
 

Trapper

ISO brown liquor and wild salmonoids
#6
No, hence the EEK symbol :eek::D
As a heathenistic 69 year old that grew up in Montana it's still hard to imagine... but then there are those days.:)
Sorry for the mistaken interpretation. I’m not very good with these Emotocons.

When I was a kid in Colorado we had big creel limits also. Something like 15 over 12” and another 15 brookies. Back then catch and release was blasphemy and I don’t remember hearing that term until the late 1970s. I first read Lee Wulff advocating it.

Around that time, probably 1978 (I was 28). I went fishing with my Dad. Here was a man, a first generation American who grew up on a farm and had suffered through the depression, WWII food rationing, and raised 8 kids. His formal education ended when he was 10 years old. He was one of the smartest men I’ve ever known.

He asked me why I forgot my creel. I told him I didn’t keep fish any more. He asked me why. I told him I had tried hundreds of different ways to cook trout and found all of them boring. I pointed out to him that when I was a kid, there were a LOT more trout in the rivers and the reason was guys like us; prolific anglers who killed everything we caught.

He pondered on that for a moment, then said, “What you’re saying makes sense. If you kill and eat your brood stock, you’re not looking to the future. “

“So, are you going to stop killing fish?”

“Hell no! I thought I taught you not to play with your food!”

We laughed.

He died in 2006 at 92. I miss those times with him.
 

jasmillo

Active Member
#11
Yep, I 75% deduced that from your comment hahaha. I just wonder what is with the limit of 20. Is it that very few people keep whiteys?
Odd to me as well. Even if that is sustainable, seems like a bad regulation.

1 - who needs 20 whitefish a day.

2 - it perpetuates the whitefish as junk view. A fish that can be killed indiscriminately.
 

GAT

Dumbfounded
#14
My Dad said he'd stop fishing when they lowered the daily limit for trout from 10 to 5... He was a consumptive angler and ate what he caught but by the time the limit had dropped, it was just my Mom, Dad and younger brother living at home and my brother also fished. That meant between the two of them, they could keep ten fish for three people to eat.

When I think about the days I was fishing as a kid and the limit was 10 per license, it was ridiculous to think between my Dad and his four kids that together we could kill 50 fish per day. No F'n wonder the trout population took a dive!!! Sure, environmental damage took a toll but so did over harvest of the fish.
 
#15
My favorite tale of Montana catch limits, or lack thereof, is one of the oldest. Meriweather Lewis wrote in his journal on August 22, 1805, on the occasion of encountering Sacajawea's brother's band of Shoshones along the upper part of what is now called the Beaverhead river: "I made the men form a bush drag, and with it in about 2 hours they caught 528 very good fish, most of them large trout..."
 

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