After several years working with multiple agencies and organizations in an attempt to restore native bull trout and cutthroat trout in northwest Montana the MT FWP appears to be walking away from the discussion. Here is an article from the Button Valley Bugle and Daily Inter Lake discussing the issue.
Like everything else, it all comes down to the $$. Currently the lake trout fishery is worth more $$ compared to the native fish population in our area. If you look at the lake trout issue in Yellowstone, there is NO question about removing them. They have even talked about poisoning them out. The cutthroat population in Yellowstone obviously has more support / value than the lake trout population and there is not a large group of locals ready to throw blows over their removal.
The problem with the Flathead is the FWP created a vibrant destination lake trout fishery that supports the local community. Once you establish a large group of opposition it is likely you will get a couple black eyes by trying to remove it. You can’t blame them…..I would be pissed if they wanted to remove my livelihood as well. Indirectly, the lake trout will eventually take care of that.
Here is another link in support of native trout in the Flathead. Save The Jewel