Walleyes Unlimited Member Articles – if you have something you would like to share with other members, please send your article to the WebMaster. Please share your comments below and interact with other members.
Upper Missouri River Survey Dates – May 2022
Annual Upper Missouri River Reservoirs Fisheries Management Plan update meeting at MT Wild last week. Below you’ll find our tentative field schedule for all 2022 standardized reservoir netting surveys, important dates for the new 2-year fishing regulation cycle and a general timeline for updating the Statewide Fisheries Management Plan:
2022 CFR, Hauser and Holter Reservoir Standardized Netting Survey Dates
9-12 CFR Floating Horizontal Gillnet Survey
16-20 Lake Helena/Hauser Horizontal Gillnet Survey
23-26 Holter Horizontal Gillnet Survey
13-16 CFR Sinking Horizontal Gillnet Survey
15-18 CFR Sinking Horizontal Gillnet Survey
22-24 Hauser/Holter Beach Seine Survey
29-31 CFR Beach Seine Survey
12-15 CFR Walleye Sinking Horizontal Gillnet Survey
3-6 Holter Horizontal Gillnet Survey
11-14 Hauser Horizontal Gillnet Survey
17-20 CFR Floating Horizontal Gillnet Survey
New 2-year Fishing Regulation Cycle – Important Dates
- May 11
- Regulation concept list reviewed and agreement for proposals completed
- May 12
- Jason Rhoten meets with Enforcement staff to discuss regulation proposals
- May 12
- Region 4 CAC meeting – Scope regulation proposals
- May 17
- Lewistown Public Meeting – Scope regulation proposals
- May 24
- Great Falls Public Meeting – Scope regulation proposals
- June 1
- Regulation proposals due to Chief of Fisheries
- July 14
- Pre-Pre Commission meeting (No regional changes after this time)
- August 26
- Regulation proposals released to public
- October 6-17
- Amendment Period
- October 17
- If necessary, deadline to provide input to amendments
- October 20
- Commission meeting (Biologists present at R4 HQ for questions)
Updates/Revisions to Statewide Fisheries Management Plan
Staff are currently drafting revisions/updates to the Plan and final draft will be done in 2023. Important dates for public comment are unknown at this time; however, a public comment period will be an important part of the process. FWP will make more information available as the process moves along. As a reminder, the UMRRFMP, or any waterbody specific plan, supersedes the Statewide Plan and is referenced as such in the Statewide Plan.
Take care and please let me know if you have any questions.
Helena Area Fisheries Biologist
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Executive Director Report – Spring 2022
Hello fellow Walleyes Unlimited of Montana members and other folks that may be reading this. I was appointed as the Interim Executive Director of WUM at the last state meeting in February, so this is my first report. Yesterday was the first day of Spring and I’m sure that everyone is looking forward to open water, warmer weather and RAIN. I guarantee that I can tell you how to catch twice as many fish by reading this article. So, I’ll start out by giving you a little bit of information and background about me. I joined Walleyes Unlimited during its inception years and I’ve been a member since. At that time, it was a five dollar bill to become a member. I’ve seen the organization go through a lot of growth, occasional conflict and many accomplishes. Many instrumental members have gone on to the big fishing pond on the other side.
I live in Wolf Point and I’ve been married to Traci for 41 years. My background in Walleyes Unlimited includes Wolf Point Chapter President for several years, Co-Director Rock Creek Walleye Tournament for 20+ years, WUM State President 2003 -2004 and a Board Advisor for many years. I’ve worked with the FWP on different areas as a former Citizen’s Advisory Committee member, committee member of last Fort Peck Reservoir 10 year Management Plan, a Hunter’s Ed instructor and in other Fish and Wildlife working groups.
I started fishing walleyes at a very young age with my Dad, Ben and I’ve pretty much been chasing them ever since. Maybe a slight hiatus when I was more intrigued with muscle cars and chasing girls. At any rate, walleye fishing has been a passion for most of my life. I’ve taught Automotive Technology at Fort Peck Community College for the past 25 years and I’m “just a gear head”, as I like to tell my wife, Traci, when she suggests some carpentry or other skilled labor projects. I worked for the MSU Fire Services Training School for eleven years as a Regional Trainer. I spent twenty plus years as a volunteer firefighter with thirteen as Chief, for the Wolf Point VFD and many years as the Fire Warden for Roosevelt County. My educational background is in business with a Bachelor’s Degree from MSU Northern and a MBA from Gonzaga University. Go Zags!
I feel my passion for walleyes, work experience, leadership skills and education will help me to do a good job for the members and future of WUM. The recently retired Executive Director, Bob Gilbert, did a fantastic job for the organization for twenty years and I consider him a good friend and I’ve learned a lot from him over the years. I believe in working together, collaborating ideas or more simply, working as a team. Every member is important and good ideas should always be considered and looking for ways to make WUM stronger and more united. I like to paraphrase JFK’s famous words and encourage members to “ask not what Walleyes Unlimited of Montana can do for me, but what can I do for WUM”. What can members do? Recruit one member, if everyone recruits one member we’ll double our membership. Buy Walleyes Unlimited License Plates, as that helps WUM in a big financial way. Go to local meetings and help out with events. WUM has made an immeasurable impact in the improvement of warm water fishing in Montana over the years but we can do a lot more in the future, with your help.
Oh yeah, I said I’d guarantee you how to catch twice as many walleyes…OK here it is – go walleye fishing twice as much, BAM! Feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or suggestions. I will return calls, texts or about any kind of electronic correspondence. I look forward to working together with WUM, the Montana FWP, our law makers and other organizations.
Take a kid fishing or someone that isn’t able to go on their own.
Northern Wyoming – Summer 2021
May 1st was our Christmas tree drop. This year we took the trees to Lake Healy near Buffalo, WY. With the help from the game and fish of Wyoming, Volunteers of American, several members and other volunteers we had the trees done by noon and was on our way home. Lake Healy has a lot of perch, bass, muskies, a few walleye and a few trout and with the lake having absolutely no bottom structure the fish will really benefit from our efforts.
This year’s Kids day fishing was held at Lake Desmet on June 5th. We had wind and rough water first thing in the early morning so the kids went for a swim at the swim beach which is protected from the wind. After about 2 and half hours the wind went down and the lake went flat so we loaded the fids in our boats and went fishing. There was a couple of salmon and a few rainbows caught. We had 21 kids from Big Brothers and Big Sisters and 16 boats from members and nonmembers. Bob from Big Brothers along with help from volunteers Tom and Mary Davis cooked the burgers and hot dogs. It really turned into a nice day.
Our next event will be our “Take a Veteran fishing day with the vets from the V.A. Hospital and vets from the Volunteers of America. The date isn’t set yet but it will most likely be in early September.
That’s all for now have a safe and happy summer on the water.
President Northern Wyoming Walleyes Unlimited
Malta – Summer 2021
Hello from the Malta Chapter!! Life is starting to feel back to normal. We were able to have our annual banquet but in a little different manner. We had bucket prizes, gun raffles, silent auction items and a local restaurant in town had a fish special during the days we had our get together. Overall we had a spectacular turnout and a lot of people attend.
Lauren Doney from Malta was the winner of our scholarship for 2021 and we want to wish Lauren the very best.
Camp Walleye HAPPENED!!!! It took an extra day but we were able to get kids out on the lake! We were scheduled to take the kids out Friday, June 11, 2021 and after not being able to do this last year, our fishermen and boaters were ready! However, mother nature had other plans and we had too high of winds to take the kids out on the water. We regrouped, called the parents of the kids, found new boat operators, packed up the coolers for water and lunches and made it happen on Saturday, June 12th. Saturday was the perfect day for fishing. Every boat was catching fish and some good ones too. Jim Carver, a longtime Walleye Member and huge advocate for kids fishing, had the hot boat and those boys caught a lot of fish that day. A HUGE thank you to all those that made this day, I mean 2 day event happen. We can not wait for next year and we know that the kids are already ready for this incredible event.
Great Fall – Summer 2021
Greetings from Great Falls once again. Is this summer flying by or what? So many things to do and not enough time to do it now that things are opening up a bit morel
In April the Great Falls Chapter hosted the first state meeting that has been held in a while. It was a much needed meeting and in my opinion one of the best I’ve seen as far as getting things done. We had the Presidential turnover occur with Randy Redfern stepping down and Scott Keller stepping up.
Unfortunately our annual Kids Day at Wadsworth Pond was cancelled again this year. By the time FWP got the go ahead it was too late to put it together.
We are however, still having our Family Fun Days, the Tiber Tournament and Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs is still in high gear to have Camp Walleye although a one day event again.
Moving toward the fall and our Membership Dinner and planning for our banquet in 2022 will be coming on quickly.
It’s good to be active again and getting back out there with the members and the public.
Enjoy the summer we have left and get some kids out fishing!
Billings – Summer 2021
The Billings Chapter has had a very busy June. On June 12th, we had our 13th annual Cancer Family day at the Tongue River Reservoir along with the Kids N Cowboys organization. The day was perfect for fishing, a BBQ and time to renew old friendships. The event this year was just totally awesome. It just seemed like everyone was in such a great mood being able to get back to some normalcy. We hosted 9 families that have a child fighting the dreaded disease of Cancer. Our boat captains were so happy to back in the groove…taking a kid(s) fishing. Over 80 people were attendance and at the end of the day a few tears of emotion and happiness were observed.
On June 23 and 24, we hosted over 75 kids for a day of fishing at the Windmill Pond. After a fun filled day catching fish, we had a BBQ and sent every kid home with their own fishing rod. Special Thanks to the Windmill Club for their help.
On June 26, the Chapter cocked for over 150 kids and adults at Riverfront Park for the Kiwanis Fishing Jamboree.
As you can see we had a very busy June accomplishing the Mission of Walleyes Unlimited of Montana. Also, I would like to thank Poly Foods for providing all the burgers and dogs for all of the events. Thanks also to all the volunteers of our Chapter that made these events such a success.
Best regards…Set the hook. DON’T FORGET TO GET YOUR BUFFALO RAFFLE TICKETS!!!!
Bob Klein, President Billings Chapter
406 860 9192
Fresno – Summer 2021
Greetings from the Fresno Chapter. As schools had to deviate from field trips this year, we had to modify our plans for some of the chapter’s typical events. Our members went to the schools and distributed 545 fishing poles to area 5th and 6th graders as they headed to summer vacation. We look forward to seeing those kids on the water this summer. The Fresno Fishing Challenge took place on June 11th, 12th, and 13th. It was a fun event with good people, good food, and some nice fish were caught. The Friday night Calcutta and 50/50 drawing had some big pots and further benefitted some local organizations that volunteered to help make the event a success. FWP is currently working on a new fisheries management plan for Fresno Reservoir. That plan will be going out for public comment in the near future. Please provide your feedback when that becomes available. We hope everyone has a great summer.
President, Fresno Chapter
Glendive – Summer 2021
I hope every has been enjoying the warm weather and having a good summer! Weather hasn’t been as great as I would have hoped for but I’ve still managed to sneak away and get some hours on the boat this year. The Kids and I have spent more time drowning worms at the river than we have floating around the lake but any time fishing is a good time. The Chapter has been working on mailing out membership forms as we were not able to hold our banquet. If you haven’t received a letter in the mail already, please contact me and I will make sure to get a membership form out to you. We haven’t had a lot of projects yet this year but our Chapter did get the opportunity to hold the Annual Kid’s Fishing days for the 6th and 7th grade classes out at Hollecker Lake. Thanks to the local FWP, Hollecker was freshly stocked with adult walleye for the fishing days. The kids had a blast catching multiple species of fish including walleye for the first time ever! I would like to thank our local biologist, Matthew Rugg, for all his help making Hollecker a desirable fishery again. We hope to continue stocking the lake for years to come, ensuring people have an enjoyable place near town to fish. It always seems like things move too fast and it feels like summer is already slipping away, so make sure you take some time this year and get out to your favorite fishing holes before it’s too late. Remember a bad day of fishing still beats the best day of work! That’s all for now from the Glendive Chapter.
Have a Good one,
Glendive Chapter President
Great Falls – Spring 2021
Well it looks like things are looking up around the state and a sense of normalization is in the near future. However it comes a little late for the Great Falls Chapter since we had to cancel our annual fund raising banquet. As always the outstanding membership of the chapter pivoted and proceeded to mobilize their efforts into a gun raffle. Members and area businesses sold a record number of tickets which will pull us through 2021. The chapter tightened their belt during our recent budget meeting but we still are capable of funding some projects and events.
We are currently awaiting word from FWP to find out if their annual kid’s day event will take place in the beginning of June. This is a large event that we partner with and attracts about 700 hundred children and their parents.
The Tiber Tournament is a go in July with Ray Cole at the helm again this year.
Our Family Fun Days will also be in July this year and will be complete with the long awaited women’s tournament as part of it.
Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs will be holding Camp Walleye at Tiber in August. With all the unknowns and lack of fund raisers this year, the camp will be a one day event like last August. Pat and Jenn Volkmar are the best at adapting to situations and this is no exception. 21st year for the camp!
As long as we continue in the direction the state is currently going we should get a lot done this year. Since walleye fishermen are naturally good at social distancing I don’t expect any spikes among us. J
Please stay safe on the water this year and get a non fisherperson out with you!
Robbi – President
Warriors On The Water – Spring 2021
Montana Warriors on the Water is excited to bring veterans to Fort Peck Lake again this summer!!Having cancelled our trip last year, we selected 14 veterans from those who applied last year to attend this year’s week long, all-expense paid fishing trip.Every veteran we have contacted is very excited about coming to eastern Montana, catching big fish, and making new friends!! Again, we plan to stay at the Hell Creek Marina thanks to the Thomas’s. We will be based out of Hell Creek State Park from July 19-23.We appreciate all the volunteer boat captains for sharing your time, expertise, and equipment. So many of you have helped make a difference by providing opportunities for veterans to catch large walleye, northern pike, lake trout, salmon, and don’t forget, BIG small mouth bass!! Food at Hell Creek has never been in short supply and we thank Reid and Bethany Ryan of the Jordan WU Chapter for helping us again this year. While we have a few details to work out on the food, we plan to stop for lunch at the Hell Creek Bar prepared by Tammy Dodd and her crew before heading to the Lake. We, again, look forward to steaks grilled and provided by the Garfield County Bank, spaghetti dinner provided by the Lucky Charms (Garfield County women’s group), and breakfasts prepared and provided by Karmie Lockie and her crew. Sandy Gibson of Sand Springs, has also shared her delicious, “can’t each just one”, caramel rolls!!We thank all of you for providing delicious salads, desserts, bbq brisket (Thank you RZ Metal Worx of Miles City!), and your help with lunches and Thursday evening’s fish fry!!We could not do what we do for veterans without your help!After our time at Hell Creek, we plan to boat our veterans across the lake for a long range rifle shoot hosted by Jeron Weson with help from Pat Sinclair. While at the shooting range, a delicious lunch is provided by Brian Austin of Auzzy’s Cook Shack, including ice cream for all the veterans!! To finish out our week long trip, Scott and Jessica Collinsworth, owners of the Fort Peck Marina have graciously offered their Marina to serve as our base of operations again for more fishing and hosting our benefit concert and auction fundraisers! On Friday evening, we look forward to perfectly grilled steaks by Gary Maczka and crew,provided by the Glasgow WU Chapter. On Saturday morning, the Glasgow High School student council will again prepare breakfast at the Marina for all the veterans and volunteers. Each year this group of students with leadership from Rod Karst have been exceptional in supporting veterans through their deliberate fundraising, and by, themselves, cooking and providing breakfast for our veterans!The Glasgow and Fort Peck area can be very proud of their sons and daughters!And, finally, Saturday, volunteer boat captains will again take all the veterans fishing with the possibility of catching large lake trout and salmon, in addition to walleye and northern pike! The Cottonwood Inn will again provide dinner for the veterans Saturday evening and also dinner for purchase to the public while attending the concert and fundraiser auctions at the Marina!We hope you all save the date, Saturday, July 24thto come to the Fort Peck Marina, meet the veterans, and help us continue giving back to our veterans! We will have music, raffles, and both silent and live auctions. We promise to have more music for all to enjoy! The camaraderie and friendly competition, both in the shooting and fishing, will be recognized at the concert and fundraiser!!Those who have already purchased gun raffle tickets, you will be glad to know,we will be drawing those winners on July 24thafter the auction.If you are wanting to purchase raffle tickets, please contact any director with MWOTW or email us at email@example.com, and we will be sure to get you some! We plan to have some exceptional auction items this year, so come ready to “win”!!We thank and appreciate everyone’s support over the last year and this year, especially those that held fundraising events like the 4thof July Poker Run held at the Rock Creek Marina and the donation from the Wolf Point WU Chapter; and from those who donated part,if not all,of their stimulus checks, and the unsolicited donations from those who haven’t forgotten what our Nation’s veterans have done for us all. We thank all of you for your continued support and generosity!! Every donation makes a difference, and we couldn’t do this without you!With July fast approaching, we are looking for help. If you are interested in helping with food or as a boat captain, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also looking for a crew bus driver and possibly two people and an additional van or like vehicle to assist in shuttling veterans to and from Fort Peck Marina to Glasgow on Saturday evening (July 24) and possibly to the Billings airport on Sunday(July 25). Your help is appreciated!Again, we look forward to seeing everyone at Fort Peck Lake and in our communities supporting our veterans….”giving back to those who gave so much”. See you in July!!Fish on!!
Glendive – Spring 2021
I hope everyone had a good winter on the hard water, I was able to make several ice fishing trips with varying success but always had a blast getting out there. The weather is finally getting nicer and, with the ice melting away, it’s finally time again to get those boats ready again!
It was another quiet fall/winter for the Glendive Chapter , unfortunately many activities we usually enjoy continued to be postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic. The beginning of the year continued to be challenging and we once again were unable to host our Annual Banquet. On the plus side, we got the “thumbs up” from FWP to hold the Kid’s Fishing Day this year! We haven’t forgot about last year’s class either, FWP approved an additional day so the kids that missed out last year will finally get their fishing day, even if it’s a year late. The Hollecker lake aerator was finished last fall and was in operation this winter. Hopefully the new aeration system helps with the winter kill and contributes to a more sustainable fishery. Our local FWP biologist assured us we will be getting walleye stocked in the dam this spring so stay tuned for updates on that! The next project this spring is to get some gravel down to our local boat ramp and get it ready for the year, we should have the parking lot smoothed out and holes filled in soon. As I mentioned, the banquet was postponed again this year but we will be mailing out membership forms to all our members and encourage everyone to renew their memberships this year. Your continual support helps us with local projects to improve fishing access, local fishing spots and host fishing days for our kids!
I’m really looking forward to finally getting back to our usual routine and, with any luck, the third time will be the charm hosting a banquet in 2022!
Have a Great Summer,
Brian McDanold – Glendive Chapter President
Flathead Chapter – Spring 2021
We have been active this Winter in spite of Covid. We handed out over 400 rod reel combos to youngsters that fished in 5 local ice fishing tourneys, and another 3-400 at the Expo Sports show at the fairgrounds in Kalispell. Chapter member and past president Joe Rudolph and his son Alex came up with a great fundraiser in leu of us having a banquet. Alec owns Santas choice Charters in Alaska and Joe owns a rental house near the wharf. They put together a package that was a fishing trip with Alec and lodging by Joe for a weekend, the winners only have to arrange airfare. We sold the 500 tickets in no time and the winner was drawn at the Expo show. I do not have her name at present but a happy young lady was the winner. Stay tuned, it was very successful and next year we may sell more tickets and advertise through Fish Tales so the whole state has a chance.We also had president Pete Jellar work on getting $100,000 grant for improvements at Church Slough fishing access in the valley, we have sent the information to State Walleyes to make sure protocol is followed and we are hoping everything works out smoothly.We are in the process of locking in next years banquet sometime in March.Warren Elli another of our members is working with Dale Gilbert to get into legislation a bill that would require the FWP to manage ALL species including Warm Water. They will need our members from all over the state to contact local representatives and let them know how we feel. This is one of the most important bills we have been apart of since the approval of the hatchery at Fort Peck- please have a voice!Many members competed in the Perch Assaults’ ice fishing series, one of the largest and longest running in the state, we had participants from 4 states and all over Montana. If you enjoy ice fishing you may want to check it out for next year, great sponsors and very well run.After 42 years in the car and boat business I am fading into the sunset, hope to be spending more time in a boat during the hot bite and prefishing the Walley circuit. See you on the water!
Billings Chapter Chatter for April 2021
Greetings once again from the Billings Chapter and as I write this we are just a few days from Spring. Many of us are waiting for the ice off and thinking about the fishing days ahead.
Once again, the Billings Chapter will not have a banquet in 2021. Since we will not have a banquet for our major fundraiser, we have decided to have a raffle for a Buffalo Hunt. We are printing tickets soon. We will be selling 5,000 tickets at $10 a ticket. The hunt will take place this December and the winning ticket will be drawn on October 16, 2021. The winner will shoot a bull buffalo on a ranch southeast of Billings.
The winning ticket also includes skinning and quarter, European skull mount, and $500 toward basic processing.
We have received approval from the Montana Gaming Commission to sell our tickets online via our facebook page (Billings Chapter of Walleyes Unlimited@facebook.com).
By the time this article is published , we will have tickets available. Contact Connie Nance @ 406-850-8248 or email@example.com, Bob Klein 406-860-9192 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information or tickets.
Have a great spring and soon the Walleyes will be bugling. Take care and be safe. Get the covid vaccine.
Set the hook!! – Bob Klein, President
Fresno Chapter – Spring 2021
Hello to everyone from the Fresno Chapter. As I type this letter after looking at the Fresno Reservoir web cam, the ice is starting to break up around the reservoir. I assume by the time you read this we should be full swing in open water season. We recently completed our sixth consecutive year of our Christmas Tree habitat project. I want to give a special thanks to the volunteers that make that project operate so smoothly. This year we disbursed the most Christmas Trees in that six year history. We hope that will give the reservoir a much needed boost as it rebounds from the current low water environment due to the failure of the St Mary Diversion. I am hearing reports that the water situation is fairly positive above Fresno and increased water releases will be headed our way soon. We have begun preparations for the Fresno Challenge Walleye Tournament that is schedule for June 11, 12, and 13. We’re hopeful that reservoir levels will be much improved by that time.
From all of us at the Fresno Chapter, we hope you get outdoors and enjoy the upcoming spring.
Nate Molstad – President, Fresno Chapter
Northeast (Plentywood) Chapter Chatter – Spring 2021
Spring is upon us and we are excited to get out the boats and campers and shake off the pandemic of 2020! We decided to skip this year’s banquet and focus on the many projects we have planned for the year.
The new boat ramp at Bolster Dam was completed last summer and was a welcomed addition for boaters. Our Walleyes chapter donated to the local food bank, our local Angel Tree project to help assist with utility expenses during the cold winter months, and the Culbertson fishing pond/walking trail project “Ike’s Fishing Pond”. We also donated and distributed more picnic tables around the area and are looking into improving the boat ramp for the Raymond dam.
Finally, we hosted another successful (unless you count catching fish) Kid’s fishing day on January 31st, 2021 with many in attendance (pictures are from this event). Much fun was had by all, lots of sledding, hot chocolate, and hot dogs
2021 Spring State Meeting
This is the location of the Spring State Meeting on 24 April 2021.
There is a block of rooms at the Holiday Inn, 1100 5th St South, Great Falls, Mt. Call 406-727-7200 to reserve your room.
Please reserve a room as quickly as possible on the night of 23 April since the Gun and Antique Show is the same weekend.
More details to follow, please RSVP Robbi as soon as possible so we get a good feeling for how much food will be needed for the Friday night social and Saturday morning breakfast.Please email your reply to; email@example.com……………406-590-6565
Schedule for the weekend…………..
Friday Social—-6-9pm Saturday Breakfast 7amSaturday Meeting 8am until complete Saturday Lunch 11:30
Only 9 rooms have been reserved. Only 2 more days to reserve a room under the Walleyes Unlimited block of rooms. I know more than that will be here……..don’t delay, make your reservations.
I also haven’t heard from enough people to know how much food to plan on.