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Future Fisheries Improvement Program
Emigrant Spring Creek

For more than a decade, FWP's Future Fisheries Improvement Program has worked to restore rivers, streams and lakes to improve and restore Montana's wild fish habitats. Between $350,000 and $650,000 are available each year for projects that revitalize wild fish populations. Any entity proposing a good project that would benefit wild fish will be considered for funding.

Future Fisheries applications are considered every year in June and December. An independent review panel recommends Future Fisheries projects to fund to the Fish & Wildlife Commission.

Call (406) 444-2449 for information, or click on the navigation buttons in the Future Fisheries Improvement Program menu: Program Overview, Fact Sheet, Application Process, Public Comment, Success Stories, Legislative Reports, and Meeting Minutes.

Public Involvement Opportunities

We encourage the public to participate in funding decisions associated wih the Future Fisheries Improvement Program. All Future Fisheries applications received for upcoming Future Fisheries Review Panel meetings can be reviewed online. The next round of applications will be available for review early June, 2014.

We encourage the public to participate in funding decisions associated wih the Future Fisheries Improvement Program. All Future Fisheries applications received for upcoming Future Fisheries Review Panel meetings can be reviewed by clicking on the Future Fisheries Application link below.

Public comments associated with these applications can be submitted by e-mail to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. All comments received will be forwarded to the Future Fisheries Review Panel and to the Fish & Wildlife Commission for their consideration. FWP staff submits funding recommendations (see below) to the Review Panel for their consideration prior to their biennial meetings. Projects recommended for funding by the Citizen Review Panel receive rankings (see below) by a 3-person committee composed of 2 FWP staff personnel and a representative from the Citizen Review Panel.

Note: The next round of Future Fisheries Applications, Recommendations and Project Rankings will be available for review and comments in early June, 2014.

The Future Fisheries Review Panel typically meets in late June and mid-December to formulate funding recommendations for the respective biennial funding cycles. Review Panel funding recommendations are then forwarded to the FWP Commission for final action during their regularly scheduled meetings held in September and March (corresponding to the June and December funding cycles, respectively).

Call (406) 444-7319 for additional information regarding the opportunity to submit public comment.

History

Big Hole Restoration Project

Beginning in 1995, the Montana legislature passed the Future Fisheries Improvement Program, which increased the dollars allocated to fish habitat restoration and expanded the program to include habitat improvements in lakes or reservoirs. In 1999, the legislature expanded the program and earmarked a portion of the funding allocated to the program specifically for projects that enhance habitat for bull or cutthroat trout, with an emphasis on reclaiming mining related impacts.

Projects include:

  1. riparian fencing and off-stream water development to improve habitat along streamside areas;
  2. re-vegetation of stream banks and streamside areas to stabilize banks and cool the water;
  3. installation of screening devices on irrigation diversions to prevent the loss of fish into the ditches;
  4. removal of barriers or installation of fish ladders around barriers to facilitate the upstream movement of spawning fishes;
  5. construction of barriers in selected locations to prevent non-native trout from competing or hybridizing with genetically pure native cutthroat populations;
  6. reconstruction of stream channels that have been modified from their natural form as a result of land use practices or channelization;
  7. water conservation measures that result in a greater quantity of water left in-stream; and
  8. installation of habitat structures in lakes and reservoirs that provide cover or enhance spawning.

A number of successfully completed restoration projects funded by the Future Fisheries Improvement Program have been highlighted in past news articles. Click on the bulleted items below to view examples of success stories.