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Outdoors: Reser Reservoir being drained to repair dam


August 2, 2018

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

An aerial view of Reser Reservoir last week Northwest of Chinook shows how much of the lake has been drained this summer. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Bureau of Land Management say the draining, which is to make repairs to the dam, has also created a unique fishing opportunity this summer.

Fishing fans may have noticed something a little different this summer about one of the Hi-Line's most popular fisheries.

Reser Reservoir, a Bureau of Land Management reservoir located approximately 18 miles northwest of Chinook, has been being slowly drained throughout the summer due to structural damage at the dam. A small washout was observed this spring, and repair and maintenance to the dam is necessary to avoid a complete loss to the structure.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has been working with BLM staff to coordinate the drawdown while trying to salvage and transfer as many gamefish as possible. FWP personnel have been setting trap nets to collect yellow perch, bluegill, black crappie and largemouth bass. These fish are then placed into tanks and transferred to other waterbodies.

The perch and black crappie will be going to Bailey's reservoir, the bluegill to Salmo Reservoir, and the largemouth bass to Dry Fork Reservoir.

During the draining of Reser, FWP continues to encourage anglers to go to Reser Reservoir and enjoy the opportunity while it lasts. Once repairs are made to the dam and water returns, FWP will stock fish and re-establish this popular fishery.

Also, according to recent reports, fishing has been solid throughout the area this summer, those recent rising temperatures could change that some.

Central Montana and the Hi-Line are home to all kinds of popular fishing, with all types of native species.

Area streams and rivers that are popularly fished in the summer include, Beaver Creek, Big Spring Creek, Hound Creek, Marias River, Milk River and Missouri River. Lakes and ponds in the area that are routinely fished include, Bailey's, Bear Paw Lake, Beaver Creek Reservoir, Faber Reservoir, Fresno Reservoir and Tiber Reservoir among others.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

When it comes to defense in football, sacks get all the headlines. And while linebackers can rack up plenty of sacks, it's the dirty work, the tackles that make a linebacker special. And in 2018, the Frontier Conference will feature arguably some of the best linebackers in NAIA football, and no one is more linebacker rich right now than Southern Oregon. Known for their incredible offenses the last decade, the Raiders have also quietly built great defenses into their program, and the linebacker tandem of Tyson Cooper (5-10, 205) and Devon Gage (6-2, 225) are as good as it gets. On their way to First-Team All-Conference honors last season, both Cooper and Gage put up incredible numbers. Cooper had 108 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and two intercpetions in 2017, while Gage finished the season with 104 stops, 3.5 sacks and 5.5 TFLs. And when you add in defensive end Sean Rogers, who was an All-American last season, the Raiders have no doubt one of the top front sevens in the country this season. But, the great linebackers in the Frontier don't stop with SOU's dynamic tandem. Montana Tech's Connor Wines (6-2, 220). Put up monster numbers as a junior. Wines led the Frontier with 10 sacks, while also registering 15 TFL's on is way to All-Conference honors, and Wines could be the best of the best again this season. UM-Western's Jason Ferris (6-3, 200) tallied 103 tackles, 6.5 TFL's and two interceptions on his way to All-Conference honors while just a sophomore in 2017. College of Idaho's Forrest Rivers (5-11, 220) also earned All-Conference honors as a sophomore after he tallied 57 tackles, 7.5 TFL's and three sacks last season. Carroll College's Reece Quade is also back for his senior year. Quade (6-3, 232) totaled 53 tackles and 4.5 TFL's while anchoring the middle of the Fighting Saint's defense a year ago. And while just about everybody in the league has at least one really good linebacker back this season, no one has perhaps the talent at all three spots in their lineup that Rocky Mountain College does. The LB trio of Dallas Mack, Billy Williams and Chase Bertelsen are all back for head coach Jason Petrino's defense this season, which is one reason why RMC will be so strong on that side of the ball. Williams (5-11, 215) led the Bears with 74 tackles to go with 7.5 TFL's last season. Mack (6-0, 215) finished his 2017 season with 73 stops and 6.5 TFL's, while Bertelsen (6-1, 235), now a three-year starter, had 71 stops of his own a year ago. Of course, losses to graduation came a plenty at the linebacker spot last season, and two teams that lost two of the best were Eastern Oregon and MSU-Northern. The Mounties graduated two-time All-American LB Michael Arenas, while the Lights lost one of the most productive linebackers they've ever had in Garet Fowler. Fowler led the Frontier last season with an incredible 115 stops, while averaging nearly 11 per game. And while the loss of Fowler is substantial, the cupboard certainly isn't bare in Northern's linebacker room. The Lights return senior Alec Wagner (5-11, 225), a three-year starter who totaled 48 tackles and a sack last season. Wagner is the veteran leader of what should be a talented group that also includes sophomores Jake Norby, Peter Hamilton and Jaren Maki. Ace Morgan is also expected to be in the mix, according to head coach Andrew Rolin. "We've got a lot of really good, young, athletic linebackers," Rolin said. "There's going to be a lot of good competition at that position this fall. Of course, everything starts with Alec Wagner. He's a really good football player, and he is our leader in that group. But we've got a lot of younger guys who I'm really excited about. And I think that group has the potential to be a real strength for us on defense this season." An aerial view of Reser Reservoir last week Northwest of Chinook shows how much of the lake has been drained this summer. Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks and the Bureau of Land Management say the draining, which is to make repairs to the dam, has also created a unique fishing opportunity this summer.


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