Fish - Program Manager's Message and Points of Emphasis

Hello and thank you for your interest in the Lolo National Forest’s Fisheries Program. We are proud of what we have to offer here on the Lolo National Forest and we would like to share with you our points of emphasis, goals and objectives for our fisheries program.

Photo of a rainbow trout and fishing pole.

Some of the best trout fishing waters in the country are located within an hour of Missoula, including the Bitterroot, Clark Fork and Blackfoot River and Rock Creek. The Lolo National Forest also offers a tremendous amount of diversity of streams, rivers, and lakes that have the potential to support strong populations of westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout, species of special concern here on the forest. The Lolo National Forest is unique because it supports a combination of elevations, landforms, geologies that contribute ample nutrients to the water, and growing seasons that are long, but water that maintains a cooler temperature. This is a great place for trout to grow big and thrive, making it not only beneficial to the fish, but the fisherman as well.

The Lolo National Forest Fisheries Program is committed to aggressively contributing to the overall conservation and restoration of aquatic habitats, benefiting fish populations and overall ecosystem health. There are six major goals to the Lolo National Forest Program Plan:

  1. Conserve and restore fish habitat and populations by focusing on proactive assessment and management of watersheds.
  2. Use of sound science, data, logic and natural processes in analyzing issues.
  3. Develop consistency and efficiency in processes.
  4. Nurture relationships with the public, agency peers, and co-workers to develop mutual ownership in the fisheries program.
  5. Provide support to other resource functions and continue to integrate fisheries restoration into other resource projects.
  6. Be recognized as the leading fisheries program in the nation.

In meeting these goals, our objectives include:

  1. Working cooperatively with Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks in developing long term fisheries and watershed management strategies.
  2. Using the best science possible in developing fisheries and watershed management strategies.
  3. Developing simple and standard formats for project analysis.
  4. Committing more time to going out into the field completing field reviews.
  5. Improving our involvement with partners, agency peers, the public and co-workers.
  6. Providing aquatic education to build long-term understanding and support of fish and water values in future generations.

Our fisheries employees on the Lolo National Forest are committed to helping restore and preserve fish populations and habitat across the Forest, but we are also committed to establishing relationships with other agencies, and more importantly, the public. We believe that support of our program can only be achieved by nurturing working relationships both internally and externally. Support is gained when support is given. Our final goal for our program is probably one of the most fundamentally important factors of all – we want a balanced program that we can all be proud of. Photo of a cutthroat under water.

See the Lolo Fisheries Program Plan for more details.