Good News in Bull Trout Spawning Surveys from Flathead River Tributaries
By Matt Schauer

Posted: October 19, 2012

FWP completed bull trout spawning surveys in 31 tributaries of the North and Middle forks of the Flathead River. The results showed a thriving population.

FWP counted 500 spawning sites (redds), which could mean several million bull trout eggs are in the nests. 

The survey in the Flathead Basin reflects the number of adult spawning bull trout migrating upstream from Flathead Lake. It was the 11th basin wide count since 1980.

Also, FWP reported its yearly index counts for the Flathead Lake bull trout population. For this survey, FWP recorded info on eight tributaries of the North and Middle Forks of the Flathead River. These tributaries represent a known portion (about 45 percent) of the total bull trout spawning in the drainage.

FWP counted 229 redds, which is around 20% higher than the average of 193 redds (over 14 years). The highest count since 2001, with 230 redds. This current level is twice as high as the average in the 1990s, so the population is on the rebound.

Check out the bull trout video below.

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