Western Montana: Biologists hunt for fisher hair in Fish Creek

They must be nearby. Ken Cole saw one cross Highway 12 about 40 miles SW just the other day-

Biologists hunt for fisher hair in Fish Creek. By Rob Chaney. Missoulian. “The Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness appears to be such good fisher habitat that it may hold the last original Montana and Idaho species – unrelated to the transplants that populate the Panhandle and Cabinet Mountains.”

In fact it was immediately north of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness that Ken saw the fisher on Highway 12. Fish Creek in Montana is in the Bitterroot Mountains, west of Missoula.






  1. Mike Avatar

    I love this area. I’m not surprised it holds the elusive fisher. I’ve had the honor of seeing a few of these in the wild, and they are stunning creatures.

  2. Jon Way Avatar

    Its funny how fishers are seen as such of an elusive species. While secretive, when doing my graduate work just outside of Boston, MA I actually captured over 20 of them while trying to trap eastern coyotes/coywolves. I guess they behave diff’t out west?

    I agree with Mike, though, they are certainly neat animals.

  3. Jerry Black Avatar
    Jerry Black

    There are so few(up for listing) yet Montana continues to allow trapping for them. Same for the wolverine…the only state in the lower 48 that still traps them also.

    1. WM Avatar

      Trapping that exposes wolverines or fishers to being taken simply amazes me. I want to see wolverines on the ESA immediately.

      1. Phil Avatar

        wm: I completely agree with you. It is amazing how the wolverines are not even thought of as to being put on the ESA.

        Jerry: The only reason Michigan does not allow trapping of wolverines anymore is because we have none left in the state (wild). That is truly amazing. I do not know what set upon not trapping them anymore, but I believe early last year trapping of wolverines who were not collared was still legal, until the last died of natural causes. Hopefully the state allows a reintroduction plan, or wolverines set back to the state on their own like our wolves have done. I got up close to a couple wolverines last summer in Canada, and boy did they not like me. Talk about hostile. I was lucky enough that they resided in a sanctuary and their enclosure, although huge, was fenced around for safety purposes. But, their shear sight is amazing and beautiful.

  4. Phil Avatar

    By the way: If they have a reintroduction plan for wolverines in Michigan, it would be great if Ed Bangs could cordinate it as wolverines are his favorite animal.

  5. Kayla Avatar

    Now I personally would not be surprised if some evidence
    showed up with them occurring in this area. All the trapping
    for Wolverines and Fishers should be eliminated in my
    opinion. I saw a Fisher many many years ago in Colorado in
    a undisclosed location which was in a wilderness area. And
    do know of a good Wyoming Fish and Game Biologist who
    saw one in the South Absarokas some years ago. Do think
    some of these animals might be more around then we
    might think. Some of these backcountry areas anymore get
    very little human visitation. Go Fishers!!!


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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