It's National Fishing and Boating Week and a recent data collection of online Twitter mentions showed hash tag comments about fishing, such as gonefishing, fishingseason, fishlife, fishingsite, and so on brought a huge amount of intereset in Montana. In fact, of the top 10 fishing states, Twitter had Montana at Number Three, right behind Minnesota and Nebraska in the top two slots.

Of course, the fisherpeople here in the Bitterroot and Western Montana could've told you that. And the interest in fishing starts early. Bitterroot Trout Unlimited (BRTU) recently completed their first Hamilton High School Trout in the Classroom, where students put together an aquarium setting, raised trout from eggs to fry and then celebrated a "graduation" with release of the young trout in the pond at Hamilton's Hieronymus Park.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Biologist Jason Lindstrom and Fisheries Technician Leslie Nyce helped release the 17 fish May 24th. The students of Vanessa Haflich's class learned about the proper water quality and temperature for trout, how the ecosystem works and lessons about stream habitat. The release site was state-approved. Helping with the lessons were Dave Ward and Greg Chester of BRTU and the class was an outgrowth of the Bitterroot Buggers program, teaching the art of tying flies and lessons in conservation.

Corvallis High School had a Trout in the Classroom project, but an aquarium malfunction prevented a successful conclusion. In the recent BRTU newslatter, Greg Chester reported a mini-grant from Montana Trout Unlimited will help them expand the program to Florence and Darby High Schools.

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