The 1995 Montana Legislature passed the Future Fisheries Improvement Program to restore essential habitats for the growth and propagation of wild fish populations in lakes, rivers and streams. In 1999, the Legislature expanded the Program by adding funding from the Resource Indemnity Trust Fund and directing a portion of the funding to projects that specifically enhance bull trout and cutthroat trout, with emphasis on mineral reclamation projects. The 2013 Legislature amended the scope of projects funded by the Resource Indemnity Trust Fund to include all of Montana's native fish.
Funds used to implement the Future Fisheries Improvement Program originate from the sale of Montana fishing licenses. A portion of the funding also comes from a portion of the interest generated from Montana's Resource Indemnity Trust Fund (RIT).
Good projects benefiting wild fish, originating from virtually any source, will be considered for funding.
Use of Funds
Program funding may be provided for costs of design/build, construction, and maintenance of projects that restore, enhance or protect habitat for wild fishes. Funding cannot be used for administration, coordination, overhead, monitoring or contingency costs. Preference will be given to projects that restore habitats for native fishes. Preference using RIT funds will be given to qualified mineral reclamation projects that benefit native fish. Future Fisheries funding cannot be used for watershed assessments, grant/project administration or coordination purposes.