If you wanted to pick one place in the country to target a 20-plus-inch trout, eastern Montana‘s Bighorn River might be your best bet. So the fact that the trout in the river are showing up unhealthy, and even dead on occasion, is a serious concern for trout enthusiasts, and sportsmen in general.
According to the Billings Gazette, a surplus of nitrogen in the water is harming the trout. As water plunges over the dams in the river, it creates something called “gas bubble trauma,” where excess nitrogen is collected in pockets of water. Too much nitrogen, as you can see, is bad for trout. The trout develop blisters throughout the body, and if they form, for instance, on a gillplate, it can be deadly. Here’s hoping that the dams on the Bighorn are among the next to come down, so that this problem can be resolved. – Rick Bach