Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Meeting to discuss state fishery management plan

Mineral Independent | September 13, 2023 12:00 AM

A tremendous amount of attention has been zeroed in on the fisheries in Montana as some areas are experiencing diseased fish, others have been overtaken by non-native species and overall, the native populations appear to be declining.

The Clark Fork River below Frenchtown is experiencing repercussions from long ago mining in Butte to as recent as the removal of Milltown dam and the closure of Smurfit-Stone Container. These have not gone unnoticed as Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has been analyzing areas of concern as this issue has been front and center for the department.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks has released its updated draft Statewide Fisheries Management Plan, which provides management direction for all waters under the agency’s jurisdiction. Public comment on the document will be accepted through Sept. 25.

A virtual event, “Statewide Fisheries Management Plan for Montana”, will take place from Friday, Sept. 15 from noon to 1:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. This is sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at MSU, formerly known as Wonderlust.

Mike Duncan, the fisheries manager for Montana FWP Region 3, will discuss the scientific research incorporated into the plan, the development process that included state officials and employees, and the role of public input in the process. Duncan will take questions from attendees following his presentation.

Duncan holds a doctorate in fish and wildlife biology from MSU and has extensive training as a fisheries biologist. He is the author of numerous publications in professional journals and has worked recently in the Madison and Gallatin drainages, home to some of the country's most popular trout fisheries. He has extensive experience collaborating with state and federal agencies, private landowners and consulting firms and has successfully led efforts to restore fish and wildlife habitats for game and non-game species across Montana.

Participants must register before 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 15 by visiting montana.edu/olli/offerings/ or, call (406) 994-6550. Upon registration confirmation, participants will receive an email with the Zoom link and instructions to join the program.