KIDS FISHING APPLICATIONS
KIDS FISHING APPLICATIONS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 25, 2019
Some Region 7 Fishing Access Sites flooded
High-water conditions continue to impact fishing access sites and other recreational areas in Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 7. FWP urges people to use caution and check accessibility if they plan to recreate near rivers or streams.
Breaking ice jams, spring rains and continuing snowmelt mean that some areas may see flooding and elevated water levels. Road access is partially restricted at some sites, and even foot traffic could be hazardous.
FWP Fisheries/Maintenance crews will assess conditions as they visit sites and offer periodic updates for the public.
Current conditions of Fishing Access Sites in Region 7:
Meyers Bridge- No flooding. No access restrictions.
Amelia Island- Site flooded but water has dropped. Ice and debris on access road. Partial road restriction.
West Rosebud- Site had minor flooding but water has dropped. Ice and debris on boat ramp. No access restrictions.
East Rosebud- No flooding. No access restrictions.
Far West- No flooding. No access restrictions.
12 Mile Dam- Site had minor flooding but water has dropped. No access restrictions.
Roche Jaune- No flooding. No access restrictions.
Kinsey Bridge- Site had minor flooding but water has dropped. No access restrictions.
Bonfield- Site had major flooding. Ice and debris on access road, parking area, and boat ramp. Partial road restriction.
Fallon Bridge- No flooding. Ice and debris on boat ramp. No access restrictions.
Black Bridge- Site had major flooding. Ice and debris cover entire FAS. Access road is barricaded. Walk-in only.
Stipek- Site had major flooding. Ice and debris on access road, parking area, and boat ramp. Partial road restriction.
Intake- Site had major flooding. Ice and debris in campground area and boat ramp. No access restrictions.
Elk Island- Site flooded. Partial road restriction.
Seven Sisters- Site flooded. Partial road restriction.
Sidney Bridge- Condition unknown.
Diamond Willow- Site flooded.
A look at the process in developing recreation management rules on the Madison
The Madison River Negotiated Rulemaking Committee will hold its next meeting March 25 and 26 in Bozeman at the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks regional office. The meetings will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with an opportunity for public comment at the end of the meeting.
This will be the fourth set of meetings held by the group, which is tasked by the Montana Fish & Wildlife Commission with developing rule recommendations for managing recreation on the Madison River.
The Committee is taking up controversial and often contentious issues, which isn’t surprising given the popularity of the Madison River and the number of people who recreate there. For instance, in 2017 angling on the Madison River surpassed 200,000 angler days for the first time ever. The Madison sees the highest number of angler days of any waterbody in the state.
To give some perspective on the issue, it’s helpful to look back at how we got here and what led up to the formation of the Committee and what it is trying to accomplish.
In 2012 and 2013, in response to concerns that recreation pressure on the Madison River was creating conflict amongst users, FWP appointed a Citizen Advisory Committee to look into the issue and make recommendations. That CAC met several times and issued recommendations to FWP in May of 2013. The department adjusted the recommendations to produce implementable regulations and proposed those to the Fish & Wildlife Commission in April of 2018.
During the intervening five years, angler numbers and recreation pressure continued to increase on the river and the need to find a management solution became more pressing.
During the April 2018 Fish & Wildlife Commission meeting many members of the public spoke to the department’s recommendations, and the Commission ultimately voted not to put the department’s proposal out for public comment at that time.
In June, the Commission directed the department to pursue negotiated rulemaking. FWP solicited applications for the Madison River Negotiated Rulemaking Committee on behalf of the Commission. In December, the Commission appointed committee members to represent all interests groups pertaining to the issue.
Negotiated rulemaking is a process outlined in Montana law. It requires the consensus of stakeholders (committee members) on any decisions, unless the members decide on another mechanism to reach agreement. This means a unanimous vote, or at least a willingness of each member to say they can live with the decision. The law also required FWP to convene a group that represents the interests in the issue at hand. In this case, recreation on the Madison River, including commercial and noncommercial recreation.
When the Committee meets consensus on recommendations, they will be presented to the Fish & Wildlife Commission, which may choose to accept, reject or modify the recommendations in whole or in part. Ultimately the Commission is the decision maker for adopting rules for the Madison River. If the Committee is unable to reach consensus, the department will go back to the Commission for direction on how to move forward.
The Commission will consider any proposal at a publicly noticed meeting, take public comment and decide on a course of action. In addition, after a public meeting, the Commission will allow for a public comment period, conduct public meetings on the proposal, have the department do an environmental assessment, and draft Administrative Rules of Montana rules. Following public comment, the Commission can adopt, reject or modify the proposal at another public meeting that will include public comment.
Currently, the Committee is essentially in the middle of their process – finding consensus on a recommendation to manage recreation on the Madison River.
This recommendation, should the Committee reach consensus, signifies the start of when public input into the process begins.
While people have strong opinions about what is happening and the deliberations of the Committee, their opportunity to comment on the issue is forthcoming. At this point the Commission is relying upon the Committee, which represents all interests in the matter, to come up with a starting point. Ultimately, the Commission will interact with the public and make the final decision.
Citizen workgroup to discuss Upper Missouri River Reservoir Management Plan
A citizen workgroup will meet Tuesday, April 23, at 10 a.m. to help FWP update the Upper Missouri River Reservoir Fisheries Management Plan. The management plan guides fisheries management for Canyon Ferry, Hauser and Holter reservoirs and Missouri River sections from Toston to Canyon Ferry and below Hauser Dam.
FWP attempted to update the plan in 2018, but that draft was rejected by the Fish & Wildlife Commission due to lack of public participation. To pursue additional public input, the department met with several angling groups, held open houses and completed an online survey last winter. From this outreach FWP identified the primary areas in the plan that need to be addressed. Issues include walleye management in the reservoir system, perch management on Holter and duration and adaptability of the plan. The department is convening this workgroup to develop alternatives to address these issues in the new plan.
The meeting is open to the public. There will be opportunity for public comment during a working lunch. The meeting is at Montana Wild, 2668 Broadwater Ave, in Helena. Additional workgroup meetings will occur in May. For more information, please call 406-444-2449 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inspectors find mussels on boat being transported through Montana
The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Anaconda watercraft inspection station intercepted a boat carrying invasive mussels Monday. The boat was being transported from the Great Lakes area to Bellingham, WA, by a commercial hauler. The boat was last used on Lake Huron and had been in dry dock since October.
Mussels were found on the transom and trim tabs and were dried-up and dead. The inspectors decontaminated the boat before releasing it. The boat will not launch in Montana.
Officials in Idaho and Washington have been notified and will follow up with the vessel to conduct their own inspections.
This is the first boat with mussels that watercraft inspectors have stopped this year.
FWP reminds all those transporting motorized or nonmotorized boats into Montana to have their watercraft inspected before launching. Boat owners are required to stop at all open watercraft inspection stations. Persons purchasing used boats should ensure the watercraft are clean, drained and dry before crossing Montana state line. To find a watercraft inspection station, visit http://cleandraindry.mt.gov/.
Fishing regulations scoping survey available online
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks invites anglers and other interested parties to participate in a survey regarding changes to the 2020 fishing regulations. The survey is available at http://fwp.mt.gov/fish/publicComments/regsScoping.html.
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, 2019. FWP staff will then formulate tentative proposals to present to the Montana Fish & 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.