FWP Seeking Comment On Statewide Fisheries Management Plan, Fishing Regulation Proposals, And Fort Peck Management Plan
Public Meetings Are Scheduled In Glasgow And Havre
August 23, 2023
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 6 will host two informational meetings on several fish-related topics, including proposals for the 2024 Fishing Regulations, the Statewide Fisheries Management Plan, and the Fort Peck Management Plan.
The meetings will be held in Glasgow starting at 6 p.m., on Monday, Aug. 28, at the FWP headquarters Quonset room (1 Airport Road), and in Havre at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 30, at the Best Western Great Northern Inn (1425 US Hwy 2).
Montana’s famed fisheries provide amazing recreational opportunities, from blue ribbon trout streams in the west, to the world-famous Fort Peck Reservoir in the east. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks provides abundant fishing opportunities, while protecting native fish species, and critical aquatic habitat. This includes managing fisheries under drought conditions.
A new draft comprehensive statewide fisheries management plan is a key piece of that management and is now out for public comment.
“The intent of the statewide management plan is to let people know not only what FWP does but also why FWP does it,” said FWP Fisheries Division administrator Eileen Ryce. “The tremendous fisheries resources of the state do not happen by accident. This includes working with a long list of private and public partners.”
The plan outlines the six main fisheries programs at FWP, including aquatic habitat; aquatic invasive species and fish health; fish propagation, allocation and distribution; fish management tools and techniques; youth and family fishing; and species management.
The plan also proposes fisheries management direction for 40 drainages in Montana. Each drainage section of the draft plan includes a map, fisheries management information, and special management issues, among other things. FWP’s fisheries management philosophy is focused on wild fish management, meaning that fisheries are sustained through wild fish reproduction as much as possible. This management philosophy takes a comprehensive approach to fisheries management requiring adequate water quality, complex and connected habitat, protection from pathogens and invasive species, angler management, and stocking of quality and appropriate fish species only where and when necessary.
The first statewide fisheries management plan was implemented in 2013. This is the third edition of the plan. The plan will be updated every four years with extensive input from the public.
Public comment on the draft statewide management plan and accompanying environmental assessment (EA) will be taken until Sept. 25. FWP staff are looking for the public to comment on all aspects of the draft management plan. For the EA, staff are looking for comment specifically on the environmental impacts of adopting the plan.
Public meetings are scheduled around the state as follows:
Aug. 28, 6 p.m., Region 6 Headquarters Office, Glasgow
Aug. 29, 7 p.m., Region 4 Headquarters Office, Great Falls
Aug. 29, 6 p.m., Region 7, Miles City Community College
Aug. 30, 6 p.m., Region 3 Headquarters Office, Bozeman
Aug. 30, 6 p.m., Region 6, Havre, Best Western Great Northern Inn
Aug. 31, 6 p.m., Region 3, Butte Forest Service Office
Aug. 31, 7 p.m., Region 4, Lewistown, Yogo Inn
Sept. 5, 6 p.m., Region 5 Headquarters Office, Billings
Sept. 6, 6:30 p.m., Region 2 Headquarters Office, Missoula
Sept. 7, 6 p.m., Region 1 Headquarters Office, Kalispell
To view and comment on the management plan and EA, including the Fort Peck Management Plan, go to fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/public-comment-opportunities/fisheries-mgmt-plan.
FWP will take comment on the fishing regulation proposals through Sept. 19. The Fish and Wildlife Commission will make a final decision on the regulations at their Oct. 19 meeting.
For more information and to comment, go to fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/public-comment-opportunities/fishing-regulations.