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Future Fisheries Program Overview

Montana's Future Fisheries currently offers between $350,000 and $650,000 annually to restore wild and native fish habitats across Montana. Future Fisheries emphasizes local approaches for on-the-ground restoration of lakes, rivers and streams that benefit wild and native fish—and the land and water that supports them. A portion of the Future Fisheries program emphasizes mineral reclamation projects to restore native fish habitats.

Eligible Applicants

Almost anyone can submit a Future Fisheries project, including landowners, community-based organizations—such as local sporting clubs, conservation groups, and civic clubs—and state and local agencies. Projects must result in on-the-ground Future Fisheries habitat restoration to benefit wild and native fish. Applicants should look to restore or protect habitat for wild and native fish populations.

Types of Projects Funded

Consider a Future Fisheries project to:

  • improve or maintain fish passage;
  • restore or protect natural stream banks and channels;
  • restore or protect nearby natural riparian and wetland areas;
  • restore habitat for cutthroat trout and bull trout in areas affected by mining;
  • prevent loss of fish into irrigation diversions;
  • restore or protect spawning habitats;
  • enhance stream flows;
  • restore or protect genetically pure native fish; or
  • improve fishing in a lake or reservoir.

Program Statistics (as of 1/28/2013)

Future Fisheries—By the Numbers
Years program has been in effect: 17
Future Fisheries dollars approved by FWP Commission: $13.7 million
Matching dollars for approved Future Fisheries projects: $36.8 million
Number of projects completed: 500
Number of projects pending or ongoing: 37
Miles of riparian fence installed: 177
Miles of restored and enhanced rivers and streams: 184
Number of fish screens placed on irrigation diversions: 42
Number of upstream fish passages at irrigation diversions and road crossings: 137
Number of lake/reservoir projects to enhance spawning: 50
Number of game fish species benefiting from restored habitats: 18
Cubic feet per second added to instream flow: 168

Funding Applications

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

For information on how to apply, view our Application Process page.

Need more help?

Call (406) 444-2449, or write to

  • Futures Fisheries
  • Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
  • P.O. Box 200701
  • Helena, MT 59620-0701