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Trapping the Holy Grail

Even though they are rare, fishers will continue to be trapped in Montana. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commissioners rejected a proposal to lower the quota to for fisher in management areas around the state. Fisher will now have 4 management areas with a quota of 5 and sub-quotas of 1 female in 2 of the areas. Thanks to Trap Free Montana Public Lands for advocating for Montana’s furbearing animals and attending the Commission meeting to represent non-consumptive users.

 

“Trapping the Holy Grail.”

Just what it means to trap the rare Fisher according to testimony before the Montana FWP commissioners July 13, hearing.

Trappers selfish greed took characteristic precedence over the Fisher trapping 2016/17 proposals. After meeting with the Montana Trappers Association, FWP Commissioners rescinded their recommendation to reduce the Fisher quota from 7 to 0. They will now have a quota of 5 from 4 management units, 2 areas of which they are unknown to even occur and 2 will have a subquota of 1 female.

Killing one female Fisher is considerably, if they are lucky to mate, much more than killing 1 Fisher. These animals experience delayed implantation. Their pregnancy, birthing, and care for dependent young then correlate to Montana’s trapping season. Also the smaller the population the more the individuals matter for necessary genetic exchange and population stability.

Where is the science in trapping these rare creatures who have yet to even have a management plan according to FWP? How many are there? Why didn’t they survive in some of the areas they were previously introduced to after they were eradicated?

From the May trapping proposals hearing, trappers testified Fisher aren’t important to them to trap and that they get caught incidentally in trap sets for Marten.

We can’t help but wonder if trappers since took a look at these rare creatures and their fur value. In just 8 yrs Fisher’s pelts in Montana went from $35 to $104 on average.

FWP Commissioners told attendees, we can always adjust quotas another year.

Photo courtesy: Zaxtor

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