Fish Survey on Bitterroot Tributary Calls for Creek Snorkeling
By Jackalope Jordan
A different kind of fish survey recently took place on Lost Horse Creek. Instead of shocking fish to the surface survey takers donned snorkels and submerged themselves in the cold water of the creek to get a trout count.
Involved agencies claim snorkeling reduces undue stress and fish deaths in the stream compared to the use of electrical currents.
Montana Untamed reports:
HAMILTON — Alex Leone was standing in Lost Horse Creek wearing a bright red dry suit and goggles as he replaced the snorkel in his mouth before dunking his head back in the cold water. Lily Haines was a few feet away, wearing the leaking yellow dry suit. Both dragged themselves like seals through water between 6 inches and 3 feet deep to count fish.
Last week, the Clark Fork Coalition sent Leone, Haines and Jed Whiteley to conduct a census to see how the creek’s new summer flow was affecting fish populations.
“We’re looking at the responses from the water and trout today,” Whiteley said before crossing the old railroad bridge that sits unused over Lost Horse Creek, south of Hamilton.
Derek Minemyer/Montana Untamed photo