Anglers support Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act

New bill will protect headwaters of Blackfoot River and native trout streams

For immediate release 

June 10, 2019  

Contact: David Brooks, (406) 543-0054,

Corey Fisher, (406) 546-2979, 

June 10, 2019 (MISSOULA, MT) — Anglers are voicing their support over a bill that would add lands to the Bob Marshall, Scapegoat and Mission Mountain Wilderness areas, create new recreation areas, and facilitate forest health projects.

Introduced last week by Senator Jon Tester, the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act will protect the headwaters of the Blackfoot River, as well as native trout populations in key tributaries, including the North Fork of the Blackfoot, Monture Creek, Morrell Creek, and the West Fork Clearwater.

The legislation is the product of more than a decade of collaboration and has support from diverse interest groups, including hunters and anglers, timber, recreation, ranching and environmental groups. Senator Tester originally introduced the legislation on 2017.

“Each year thousands of anglers come to Montana from across the country to fish some of the greatest trout streams in the world. Among those is the Blackfoot,” said David Brooks, executive director of Montana Trout Unlimited. “The Big Blackfoot Chapter of Trout Unlimited, watershed groups, and over 200 landowners have worked together to put more than $15 million on the ground reconnecting tributaries, installing fish screens, and improving over 500 stream miles in the Blackfoot watershed, all while improving agricultural and ranching use and boosting the local economy through job creation. The Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act builds on that legacy and we commend Senator Tester for bringing this legislation forward.”   

The legislation works to find balance for user groups by creating recreation areas for winter motorized use and mountain biking, enabling collaborative forest management and protecting wild lands and backcountry hunting and fishing opportunities.

“This is a legislative model for the rest of our state and the country of how local collaboration can provide certainty for all stakeholders and succeed in truly benefitting both the environment and people,” Brooks said. “We look forward to working with Senator Tester to build support in Congress and move this bill forward.”


Trout Unlimited is the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America’s trout and salmon and their watersheds. Follow TU on Facebook and TwitterInstagram and our blog for all the latest information on trout and salmon conservation.