Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) and Montana State University (MSU) have teamed up for a pretty cool project—they're tagging trout in some of our favorite rivers like the Big Hole, Beaverhead, Ruby, and Madison.

It's all part of this big plan to figure out what's going on with the trout populations in the upper Missouri River Basin.

What's the Plan?

They're not just doing this for fun—they've got a three-year plan in place.

Each year, FWP folks, with a little help from us anglers, are tagging trout to keep tabs on their health, where they're going, how long they're living, and all that good stuff.

Spotting Tagged Fish

Every trout gets its own special tag, kind of like a fishy ID card, near its dorsal fin.

If you happen to reel in a tagged fish, don't panic! J

ust snip off the tag as close to the skin as you can with clippers.

Then, shoot over a report with all the juicy details—tag number, when and where you caught it, how the fish looked, what gear you used, and if you let it swim or took it home for dinner.

Rewards for Reporting

Oh, and here's the fun part: reporting might score you some sweet rewards!

Those blue tags?

They enter you into a raffle for awesome gear and fishing trips. And get this—the yellow ones? They're worth a cool $100 each!

Where It All Started

This whole thing kicked off last year when they noticed that the fish numbers were dropping in some parts of these rivers.

Since then, FWP and MSU have teamed up, hiring some brainy PhD students and extra hands to dig into what's going on with our trout pals.

Dive Deeper

Wanna learn more about this tag-team effort? Click here to get the scoop.

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