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Fish Plans

Aquatic Management

Upper Missouri River Reservoir Fisheries Management Plan

This fish management plan addresses the fisheries of Canyon Ferry, Hauser, and Holter reservoirs, and the Missouri River from Toston to Townsend and between Hauser and Holter reservoirs. The plan sets management direction for a 10-year period (2000-2009) by providing specific goals and strategies for each of these waters. The plan also provides a framework for continued public involvement in monitoring and evaluating fisheries management activities.

Upper Missouri River Reservoir Fisheries Management Plan 4.3 MB

Fort Peck Reservoir Fisheries Management Plan

Fort Peck Reservoir is formed by a large earth-filled dam located on the Missouri River in the northeastern part of Montana. Completed in 1937, it is the largest body of water in the state, with 240,000 surface acres and 1,500 miles of shoreline at full pool. The reservoir is 130 miles in length and has a maximum depth of 220 feet when full. The major elements of this ten-year Fisheries Management Plan include management programs for the walleye fishery, sauger fishery, smallmouth bass fishery, lake trout fishery, northern pike fishery, chinook salmon fishery, the forage fish, fish population trends, and fishing tournaments.

Fort Peck Reservoir Fisheries Management Plan 1.4 MB

River Recreation Management

Information is presented about administrative rules for river recreation management in Montana. The rules will guide FWP when developing river recreation management plans or recommending rules to the commission. The rules identify an analysis and decision-making process that the department and commission can use to prevent or resolve social conflicts on rivers. Citizen advisory committees will be appointed to help develop management plans and rules. Learn more

Species Management

Arctic Grayling Candidate Conservation Agreement (CCAA)

The conservation goal of this Agreement is to secure and enhance a population of fluvial (river-dwelling) Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) (grayling) within the upper reaches of their historic range in the Big Hole River drainage. Certificates of Inclusion will be issued to non-Federal property owners within the Project Area who agree to comply with all of the stipulations of the Agreement and develop an approved site-specific plan. Site-specific plans will be developed with each landowner by an interdisciplinary technical team. The conservation guidelines of the Agreement will be met by implementing conservation measures that: Learn more

  1. Improve streamflows
  2. Improve and protect the function of riparian habitats
  3. Identify and reduce or eliminate entrainment threats for grayling
  4. Remove barriers to grayling migration

Pallid Sturgeon Recovery

The pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus, Forbes and Richardson) was listed as an endangered species on September 6, 1990. The range of the pallid sturgeon overlays three U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Regions—Region 3, Region 4, and Region 6. Region 6 is designated as the lead Region for recovery, and research functions are provided to all Service Regions by Region 8. Because of the wide range of the pallid sturgeon, its believed extreme rarity, numerous threats to species survival, and paucity of information on species life history and habitats, an eight-member, multi-disciplinary recovery team was established to develop this Pallid Sturgeon Recovery Plan. Learn more

Westslope Cutthroat Trout Conservation

This Memorandum of Understanding and Conservation Agreement has been developed to expedite implementation of conservation measures for westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi) and Yellowstone cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri) throughout their respective historical ranges in Montana. This Agreement is a collaborative and cooperative effort among resource agencies, conservation and industry organizations, tribes, resource users, and private landowners. It documents the threats that currently warrant designation of these two subspecies as Species of Concern by the State of Montana, Sensitive Species by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC), Special Status Species by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Species of Special Concern by the Crow Tribe. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) previously reviewed both subspecies for potential listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This Agreement will serve to document Montana's efforts as part of coordinated multi-state, rangewide efforts to conserve cutthroat trout. Learn more

Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout Conservation

This status update was developed and completed under the oversight of a Yellowstone cutthroat interagency coordination group. The distribution and abundance of Yellowstone cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki bouvieri) have declined from historical levels. For this assessment, existing information was provided by 43 fisheries, and professionals applied a consistent methodology to assess the extent of historical range, current distribution, including genetic status, and foreseeable risks to 195 populations of Yellowstone cutthroat.Learn more

Aquatic Nuisance Species

Information is presented about Aquatic Nuisance Species—also called invasive species, in the following categories: fish, plants, crustaceans, mollusc, mammals, and parasites/pathogens. Included are tips for preventing the spread of such species, and a form that can be used to report a suspected Aquatic Nuisance Species. Learn more

Montana's Native Fish

All 56 species of native fish still inhabit Montana, but some are facing a long fight for survival. Most of our best-known fish—rainbow trout, brown trout, largemouth bass, and walleye—are not native to Montana, but were introduced by newcomers as sport fish. Montana's native fish adapted to a life in mountain and prairie streams over thousands of years, enduring wild spring floods, summer droughts, and long, cold winters. The cycle of life has changed for Montana's native fish, and the eventual planned and unplanned introductions of non-native fish have added new challenges to this struggle for survival in Montana waters. Many Montanans are rallying to learn more about our nearly forgotten and somewhat mysterious native fish. Learn more