Executive Director – Steve Harada – Jan 2023
Happy New Year and have an awesome 2023. Dang, I wonder if I’m the only one that 2023 sounds peculiar to. But here we are so I hope you put lots of fish on the ice for the hard water anglers and may your livewells be full when open water comes around. Ft Peck Reservoir froze over on December 20th, making it the 5th earliest on record since 1944. There have been two years where the lake didn’t freeze over completely, the winter of 1986-87 and 1991-92. We’ve had some extreme weather up in northeast Montana this winter but Mother Nature has eased up some with the mid 30s forecast for this weekend. I don’t know about you but I’m ready for spring now.
The WUM legislative fish fry is scheduled for January 18, 2023 at the Family Roots Gold Rush Restaurant in Helena. The meet and greet will start at 5:30 PM with dinner to be served around 6:30. This is a good time to meet your elected Senators and Representatives and some of the FWP folks, too. If you’re able to attend let President Keller know and all our welcome. I’m not sure if there are any controversial bills looming but we’ve got our old watch dog lobbyist Bob Gilbert up in Helena, keeping a wary eye on things and keeping everyone current on the upcoming legislation.
There are some proposed fishing regulation changes that walleye members should take a look at and most don’t feel it is the best interest or fair to the Canyon Ferry and Missouri River Fisheries. The proposal is to recommend more liberal fishing and remove the current regulation that only allows one walleye over 15 inches from Canyon Ferry upstream to Toston Dam. Many local anglers feel the walleye fishing and quality of fish is just beginning to improve on Canyon Ferry and this would only take a step backwards and harm Canyon Ferry walleye fishing. Please take the time to voice your comments at https://fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/commission/february-2023-meeting then click on the Upper Missouri option. This is the link to public comment and your comments do not go unheard. WUM would like the regulations in the reservoir to be the same in the river above as the reservoir. The deadline to voice your opinion is February 3, 2023.
I may venture ice fishing this weekend but I’m not committed yet. It’s unfortunate but as a person gets older it much easier to not go fishing than it is to just go, unless I totally commit to it and almost put it on my calendar. Invariably, something will come up and I won’t go. I look forward to seeing many of you at the legislative fish fry, upcoming banquets, the state meeting and state banquet on April 1 in Miles City and/or on the tournament trail! Sign up one new member, take a kid or someone who isn’t able to on their own fishing and contact me anytime with any concerns or just talk fishing.
2023 Chapter Banquets
Great Falls Banquet
February 4th – Montana ExpoPark
Doors open at 4, dinner at 6:30
For more information, call 406-590-6565 or 406-868-2676.
Crooked Creek Banquet
Feb 18 – Fergus County Trade Center
Lewistown – 5pm doors open – Dinner 630 pm.
Tickets available January 10.
Questions call Don Pyrah, 406-380-0064
March 4th – Flathead County Fairgrounds
Billings Chapter Banquet
March 11, 2023 – Billings Hotel and Convention Center
Upper Yellowstone chapter
March 18th – Livingston Elks Club
Cornhole tournament and membership drive.
1pm to 5pm
Wolf Points Banquet
March 18th – Elks club
Circles Chapter Banquet
March 25th – Circle country market
March 25th – Eastern Plains Event Center (EPEC)
6PM – No host cocktail
7PM – Dinner
Questions or Tickets call Brian McDanold 406-989-1065
Glasgow Chapter Banquet
Elks Lodge. Glasgow
Miles City Banquet
April 1st – Eastern Montana Fairgrounds-Custer County Event Center
Doors open @ 4:30 pm—Dinner @ 6:00 pm
April 1 – Sheridan County Civic Center.
Doors open at 4:30.
Jordan Chapter Banquet
April 14th – 2023 VFW Hall
Tough guy tournament the 15th
Gallatin Madison Banquet
April 18th – Best Western Grantee
Fresno Chapter Banquet
April 22nd – Havre Ice Dome
Big Horn Basin Chapter
September 16, 2023 – Park County Fairgrounds
Powell, Wyoming – 4:30PM to 9:00 PM