Illegal Fish Introductions

This project was led by “Fish Detective” Sam Bourret of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

In many areas of the country, and northwestern Montana in particular, non-native fish are moved from lake-to-lake by “bucket biologists.” This unsanctioned, illegal movement of fishes causes considerable harm to lakes’ native species. With Sam, I analyzed records of illegal introductions in an effort to determine which waterbodies are most at risk of future illegal introductions and help managers identify how they can be prevented.

You can check out Sam’s ResearchGate here.

Media Coverage

U.S. News, National Geographic, Big Sky Journal, Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Flathead Beacon, Great Falls Tribune, Huron Daily Tribune, and more!

Publications & Reports

Clancy, N. G. and S. L. Bourret. 2020. Using social and physical variables to assess vulnerability of northwestern Montana lakes to illegal fish introductions. Hydrobiologia.

Bourret, S. L. and N. G. Clancy. 2018. Using forensic geochemistry via fish otoliths to investigate an illegal fish introduction. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.

Distribution of NW Montana lakes with illegal introductions (white) and without (grey).