Largemouth Bass in Echo Lake, Flathead County, Montana
Echo Lake located at the North end of Flathead Lake has one the largest Large mouth bass.Micropterus salmoides. populations in Western Montana. From May through August of 1987, several specific aspects of the fishery were studied. These included: exploitation, recruitment, harvest pressure, macro and micro habitats, and movement. Echo Lake was found to support a thriving population of largemouth bass . Recruitment is high despite greatly fluctuating water levels. Angler pressure is high and decreases the number of larger (>306mm) fish, /artificial structure has been added to supplement the lack of natural structure by the Western Montana Bass Society. This artificial structure was determined to be effective for prey fish and therefore advantageous to large mouth bass. The type of artificial structure may not be effective and a change is suggested herein. As a result of this study an attempt to better manage the fishery has been initiated. This includes regulation changes. These management practices should improve the Echo Lake fishery and serve as a model for other warm water fisheries in the division.