FWP To Host Open Houses On Fishing Regulation Proposals

In the coming weeks, anglers will have several opportunities to comment on fishing regulation proposals for the 2023/24 regulation booklet.



These proposals were developed by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks staff after working with the public on identifying what changes were needed in the current regulations. In all, 42 proposals for the 2023/2024 Montana Fishing Regulations will be out for public comment through Sept. 22. The proposals can be reviewed online at https://fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/public-comment-opportunities.


Final commission action on the upcoming fishing regulations will occur at the Oct. 20 meeting. Comments can be submitted online at https://fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/public-comment-opportunities, emailed to fwpfishcomments@mt.gov, or sent to FWP Fishing Regulations, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620.


Fisheries staff will be hosting open houses around the state to discuss the proposals and gather additional feedback from the public.



The schedule is as follows:

  • Statewide Zoom: Sept. 13, 6 p.m., details to be announced

  • Region 1: Sept. 14, 4 p.m., Region 1 Headquarters in Kalispell, 490 North Meridian Road

  • Region 2: Sept. 15, 6 p.m., Region 2 Headquarters in Missoula, 3201 Spurgin Road

  • Region 3: Sept. 8, 7 p.m., DNRC Building in Dillon, 840 North Montana St.

  • Region 3: Sept. 19, 6 p.m., Region 3 Headquarters in Bozeman, 1400 South 19th St.

  • Region 4: Sept. 7, 7 p.m., Region 4 Headquarters in Great Falls, 4600 Giant Springs Road

  • Region 5: Sept. 14, 4:30 p.m., Region 5 Headquarters, 2300 Lake Elmo Dr.

  • Region 6: Sept. 20, 5 p.m., Region 6 Headquarters Quonset Building, 2165 Hwy 2 East

  • Region 7: Sept. 7, 7 p.m., Miles Community College in Miles City, 2715 Dickinson St., Room 106

FWP recently adopted a new fishing regulation process, moving from a four-year cycle to a two-year cycle. As part of the new process, FWP solicited ideas from the public on what regulation changes to consider.


The 42 proposals cover a broad range of regulations. Including a proposal for mandatory catch-and-keep for northern pike on Lake Mary Ronan near Polson. Northern pike were illegally introduced into Lake Mary Ronan and there are concerns that they could adversely impact the other sport fish in the lake as well as the state’s broodstock for kokanee salmon.



The proposals also include the addition of a bowfishing season for chinook salmon on Fort Peck Reservoir, this change would increase diversity of opportunity on Fort Peck.


There are proposals addressing both the transfer and use of crayfish as bait, including one proposal that would limit the transport of live crayfish within the Western Fishing District.


For the Beaverhead River and the Big Hole River there are proposals to protect the sport fish in these waters with the proposed changes being part of a plan for adaptive management.


All of the 42 proposals are available at https://fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/public-comment-opportunities in detail along with the rational for each proposal.


As part of the two-year cycle, fishing regulation booklets will be printed every other year. A photo and art contest continues for the front and back covers of the 2023/2024 booklets. Submissions can be emailed to fwpphotocontest@mt.gov; the deadline is Oct. 15. For more information, click here.



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