Mountain Lion Fishes for Trout in Rare Footage

The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks department last week obtained rare footage of a mountain lion fishing at night for trout from the Blackfoot River, according to GrindTV.

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The FWP's bear manager, Jamie Jonkel, receives photos and videos every day from all over the state. "Instead of someone calling to say, 'Hey, there's a grizzly in the area,' they're sending pictures of the lion feeding on a dead deer, or a skunk squeezing through to get the chickens. We're getting incredible footage from all over Montana," Jonkel told the Missoulian. Jonkel had been hoping to find some footage of black bears using the Blackfoot River near Seeley Lake as a fishing spot, but he never expected to end up with the unusual video of a mountain lion doing the same thing.

"I've never heard of a mountain lion fishing," Jonkel said. "It may be pretty common in places like Alaska and Vancouver. But I did a quick search, and couldn't find anything on mountain lions fishing around here."

The FWP posted the footage on their Facebook page along with a note saying, "As far as we know, this is the first recorded incident in Montana" of a mountain lion fishing. Kerry Foresman, retired University of Montana biologist and author of "Mammals of Montana," told the Missoulian that mountain lions are known to hunt small mammals, birds, fish and insects when other food is scarce, but the area where the footage was captured has plenty of normal prey for mountain lions.

"It's learned behavior," Jonkel said, noting that this case probably is limited to the individual lion or possibly a family of lions who found the additional food source. "It's no different than one guy figuring he can get half a cigarette from an ashtray if he goes there every day," Jonkel added. "It definitely knows what it's doing. And it's a unique thing and kind of a wonderful thing we're able to capture."

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Mountain Lion Fishes for Trout in Rare Footage