As the weather changes from winter into spring many Montanans will be applying for fishing licenses to take advantage of Montana's more than 3,000 lakes.
Just like the employees stock the shelves at grocery stores Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks stocks Montana’s Lakes reservoirs and rivers for anglers across the state to enjoy.
It’s a fish management tool that works by releasing fish bred in hatcheries into the wild.
Kate Amsden is a fish culture specialist with Montana FWP.
Stocking fish can help supplement existing populations to satisfy anglers, mitigate for past losses due to habitat disturbances, or to simply restore historic populations to their former glory.
Before making it to the lakes the fish are counted and weighed to ensure each are properly stocked according to biologist standards.
In fact biologists with request specific sizes and number of fish up to 6 years in advance.
"We stock our trout into lakes where they won't compete with other native species," said Amsden.
70% percent of FWP’s funding comes from the sale of licenses, permits, and other fees allowing for these hatcheries to continually stock the fishing spots.