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Fishing regulations scoping survey available online

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A painting of a northern pike. PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIPEDIA.COM

MONTANA FISH, WILDLIFE AND PARKS

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks invites anglers and other interested parties to participate in a survey regarding changes to the 2020 fishing regulations.

The survey is part of a public scoping process to review fishing regulations and identify potential issues with fisheries. This review happens every four years.

“Public input is vital to crafting fishing regulations,” said Eric Roberts, FWP fisheries management bureau chief. “We evaluate how a regulation may impact a fishery biologically, angling opportunities for the public and the regulation’s social acceptability.”

This initial scoping process runs through June 21. FWP staff will then formulate tentative proposals to present to the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission in August. Additional public comment on tentative proposals will be collected this fall and the final regulations will be considered at the October commission meeting.

Some of the ideas now being considered by FWP include:

  • Changing the largemouth and smallmouth bass limits on some waterbodies in the Western Fishing District;
  • Allowing single-point lures only on the Middle, North and South Forks of the Flathead River;
  • Implementing a “hoot owl” restriction on the Ennis Dam to Mouth stretch of the Madison River that would prohibit fishing between 2 p.m. and midnight from July 1 through Aug. 31;
  • Establishing no limit or mandatory harvest of northern pike and standardizing the daily walleye limit on the Missouri River from Holter Dam to Black Eagle Dam;
  • Requiring ice fishing shelters to be removed from the ice by at least March 1 in the Eastern Fishing District;
  • Allowing bow and arrow harvest of Chinook salmon from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30 on Fort Peck Reservoir.

Anglers and others are invited to participate by reviewing these and other FWP ideas, and by contributing additional ideas of their own.

Comments can be submitted online or at public meetings that will soon be scheduled in each FWP region. Comments can also be sent by mail to Montana FWP Fisheries Division, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701 or via email at fwpRegs20@mt.gov.

The survey is available at fwp.mt.gov/fish/publicComments/regsScoping.html.

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