Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks confirmed Friday a large scale fish kill involving mountain whitefish in the Yellowstone River.
FWP staff floated the section of the Yellowstone from Loch Leven Fishing Access Site to Pine Creek Fishing Access Site south of Livingston and counted 382 dead whitefish on the east bank of the river alone. The fish discovered were of all age classes.
The fish kill was reported to FWP by a number of outfitters and guides.
FWP collected several samples Friday and will return to the Yellowstone with two crews Saturday to further investigate the kill, and collect additional samples to be studied by the fish disease and health lab.
FWP Region 3 Supervisor Sam Sheppard said, “We consider this a significant event. Whitefish play an important role in the ecosystem and can be an indicator of overall river health.”
Sheppard added that he encourages the public to continue providing the Department with reports of any dead fish in the Yellowstone including the location and numbers.
(news release from http://fwp.mt.gov/news/newsReleases/fishAndWildlife/nr_0859.html)