Big Bill was killed by vandals on October 27th. Bill was the oldest rainbow/ albino trout in the Ennis Hatchery.
Idiot vandals, using 4-wheeler access, broke into the Ennis hatchery and filled the raceways with trash and debris. Windows were broken and 20 huge rainbow trout were killed, including Big Bill! The trout were hacked to death using ice choppers and hoes.
The Ennis Hatchery was built in 1933 and this is the first time it has been vandalized. The gates were almost never locked, for over 80 years, and everyone respected the hatchery. Many Montanans do not lock their homes. Sadly, we may have to change our habits because of this vandal mentality.
The Ennis hatchery supplies over 20 million eggs to hatcheries across the country. Back in the day, Yellowstone Park helped in this role. Even Henry’s lake was important for trout eggs, that were sent nationwide.
Most Ennis Trout are kept for 2-3 years. The large surplus fish are then stocked in kid ponds for sport. The Ennis pond is a great pond for kids to catch these monster trout. The hatchery is in a remote area.
This assault was not about fisherman that hate stocked fish, or wild trout only, it was about stupid, thoughtless individuals having their idea if fun. If you have any info about this incident, please contact the Madison County Sherriff at 406-843-5301.
Big Bill will be proud!
For more Montana grant, catch him at www.montanagrantfishing.com.