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Volume XXV, Number 12

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Kootenai Creek Fire Update

Sampling the bull trout

Fisheries biologists collecting DNA samples

By Michael Howell

It sounds more like a detective story or a spy novel than science. A “snip” is obtained from the subject for DNA identification purposes. A transmitter is hidden on the subject to track his whereabouts. But in this case the subject is a bull trout living in the Bitterroot River and one of its tributaries. And the detectives are fisheries biologists looking for answers to at least some of the questions that surround this curious and threatened native species. More...

FWP Fisheries Research Scientist Leslie Nyce holds a bull trout that was captured up the East Fork of the Bitterroot, implanted with a transmitter (see the wire dangling from the belly of the fish), and tracked back up Warm Springs Creek all the way to Martin Creek where it will spawn. That is also probably where the fish was born.

Another bull trout caught up the East Fork of the Bitterroot has a distinctive “orangish, yellowish belly.” “They are all different, but this one was especially beautiful,” said FWP fisheries biologist Chris Clancy.

Open Lands Bond program thriving

By Michael Howell

The Ravalli County Commissioners made a big step in the ongoing county Open Lands Bond program recently when the board agreed, on September 29, to issue $2.5 million in bonds to fund the current batch of four conservation easements already approved under the program and a few more that are under consideration. More...

Bridge dedicated to valley’s veterans

Governor on hand for bridge dedication

By Michael Howell

Montana’s Governor Brian Schweitzer and Department of Transportation Director Jim Lynch showed up last Tuesday, October 13, to dedicate the new Veteran’s Bridge where Highway 93 crosses the Bitterroot River just north of Hamilton. Scores of Legionnaires were present to help celebrate the dedication. They presented the colors, a special dedication wreath and fired off a volley of rifles in salute. More...

State Department of Transportation Director Jim Lynch gave the opening remarks at the Veteran’s Bridge dedication ceremony last week, calling it “a great day for me for a lot of reasons.”

Governor Brian Schweitzer, County Commissioner Kathleen Driscoll, State Representatives Ron Stoker and Gary MacLaren hang a memorial wreath on the highway sign designating the new Veteran’s Bridge across the Bitterroot River north of Hamilton.

American Legion District 5 Commander Rodney George and Corvallis American Legion Post 91 Commander Alex Ivanoff were instrumental in getting the new highway bridge dedicated to the valley’s veterans.

Stevensville Town Council

Council hears audit report

By Michael Howell

The Stevensville Town Council heard from auditor Bob Denny about the 2007-2008 fiscal year. He said that in the big picture the only outstanding infraction of accepted procedures was what he called “a payroll glitch” in 2007 when the payroll fund did not clear appropriately and the town exceeded its authority by overspending $31,000 from the general fund. More...

Hamilton City Council

City hears from RCEDA

By Michael Howell

Julie Foster, Director of the Ravalli County Economic Development Agency (RCEDA), told the City Council that USDA had granted $500,000 to the Montana Board of Investments to be matched by RCEDA and local banks. That money is available for re-loaning at 6 percent interest to local businesses. More...


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