Dan Vermillion has fished all over the world from Brazil to Russia but he is always glad to come home to Montana where he grew up and now has his own family.
Dan loves fishing so much that he made a career out of it. He and his brothers run Sweetwater Travel in Livingston, Montana. They offer fishing trips in Montana and around the world. Conservation plays an important role in his business. As he puts it, “My job is dependent upon public resources, and it is my duty to give back.”
Dan serves on the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission. Through that role he has seen and been part of critical recovery stories. Twenty years ago, the Yellowstone Cutthroat trout population was severely diminished. Dan attributes the state’s aggressive action of limiting harvest rates for the impressive come back of these fish native only to the Yellowstone River system.
Dan has also been part of closing river sections in threatened bull trout habitat. He sees protections afforded by the Endangered Species Act as a positive for the larger ecosystem. “When you preserve habitat for one species you inevitably help other wildlife populations. When grizzly bear protections were imposed, the elk population also increased.”
A self-proclaimed Endangered Species Act fan, Dan also cites concern for future generations. “If species like the grizzly bear are lost, no one is going to even remember to miss them. I want my kids to enjoy the same wild Montana that I grew up in.”
Dan’s three kids already know how to handle fishing rods. Thanks to the dedication of people like Dan, Dan’s grandchildren – and their children – have a better chance of enjoying the pristine Montana fishing that Dan knows so well.