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  • Friday, March 23, 2007

    Spring Has Sproinnged

    Fishing Just Down The Road
    plan now !!
    (between the lakes still hot)
    nps photo

    .. Six days above 40 degrees and counting. As the neighbors like to say: "Don't get used to it!" But it sure looks like Spring. Forget the 10 foot tall snow drifts, the roads are clear and dust covered. This is wonderful for now, and we're enjoying it.
    .. The park is closed - well not really. If you have a bicycle, skateboard, rollerblades, wheel chair, or just plain feet, you can access Yellowstone and use the roads. It's a wonderful spring ritual for the neighbors and the locals. A free park with no cars, snowmobiles, or other motorized contrivances -- just the occasional "administrative travel," and the work crews. What a pretty place.
    .. Check the Yellowstone Fishing Regulations now. The official web site hasn't been updated yet so they may be the same as last year. We'll keep you posted, (Yellowstone Fishing Page.)
    .. If your blog, web site, or business page includes advertising, and you use a picture from Yellowstone National Park -- You need a photo permit. Otherwise you must use public domain photos. The permits cost $$$$ and take about two weeks.
    .. It is illegal to fish with a guide in Yellowstone that does not have a park permit. There is a crackdown about to happen this year. Check the Yellowstone "Permitted Fishing Businesses" page for authorized guides and guide services. Don't go to jail for a trout. Don't encourage un-permitted guides.
    .. As an aside, your outfitter for back country fishing must have an EIA Certificate for stock that is used in Yellowstone. As part of your reservation contact conversation, you should ask about this - and if they will be feeding certified 'weed-free' hay.
    .. Why do we mention these things now? Because it's time to start making your reservations. Maybe it's even a bit late. The best dates and the best outfitters are already getting bookings. Don't be slow and miss your dates.
    .. General news and press releases about Yellowstone can be found at the Yellowstone National Park NEWS page.
    .. Beaver Creek at it's confluence with Quake Lake is holding some nice fish. There are also some fish above the campground and the highway. These are a remnant population of spring spawning Rainbow Trout mixed with some very aggressive Brown Trout.
    .. The creek above the beaver ponds will hold fish for as long as the flows remain high enough to keep their interest - perhaps until the regulations allow us to fish for them. The same fish seem to cluster just below the discharge plume in the transition from the Madison River-Beaver Creek confluence to Quake Lake. Many of the neighbors use mostly worms for these big fish. A Dark Spruce Fly, or a big brown Marabou Leech will bring the same results. Fish the edge of the silt plume and watch for a slow take - wait a bit longer than you think you should. These are hungry fish - not dumb fish.
    .. From Protect Your Waters comes news of more invaders headed west. This is a virus that has proven deadly in the Great Lakes and may soon hit inland waters. It's name is "viral hemorrhagic septicemia" or VHS.
    .. VHS has been called the "Ebola for fish" because it causes them to hemorrhage, killing them, much as the Ebola virus has killed humans in Africa. Read about the threat at StarTribune.com.
    .. This has already caused some real concern in the Pacific Salmon fishery. There is a less virulent and a more virulent strain. The more virulent strain has cost Europeans about $40,000,000. It nearly cost the Pacific coast fishery 4.5 million fish. To find out more about this virus you can see what the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is doing. Or for real scary stuff check out the USGS note about Saving Salmon.
    .. Mid Current lets us know about the impact of Whirling Disease on the Bitterroot. The full statement is more than just a bit disconcerting. You can find out about it at the Montana Forum. This will not go away, and it's impact will be greater by the year on the Yellowstone and Madison Rivers and their tributaries.
    P.S. The flap about the delisting of Grizzly bears is all over the wire services and the blogs. Our 'Boundary Street' grizzly is in town and it's about two weeks early. If you take a walk in the park - sing loud ribald songs. It'll keep the bears away and other visitors as well. Take bear spray and avoid dead things; like elk, ducks, bison, moose, etc. Spring fare for hungry bears.