Once again, FWP proudly presents our annual fishing newsletter as a way to share with anglers the actions FWP takes to protect and enhance our fishery resources and fishing opportunities. The newsletter begins with a summary of fisheries management highlights from each of our seven administrative regions. This is followed by a description of the activities within the past year at each of our 10 hatcheries. We then top off the newsletter with articles on our Fish Health Program and the rapidly expanding Aquatic Invasive Species Program.
There are several other noteworthy accomplishments of the Fisheries Division in the past year. For the first time ever, the Division produced a Statewide Fisheries Management Plan. This document took most of the year to create, and included extensive public outreach and a public comment period. The final plan was officially authorized in December 2012 with the signature of the Director and approval by the Fish & Wildlife Commission. The Plan has two parts: Part I describes the Programs of the Fisheries Division and the laws, rules and policies which guide how the programs are implemented. Part II describes management direction for individual species in individual waters within each of 40 drainages across the state. These drainage plans also discuss habitat needs (including instream flows) and habitat improvement activities for individual waters. Finally, the status of fishing access within each drainage is discussed along with sites which have been prioritized for acquisition and/or development. You can access the plan online.
Readers of this newsletter may also be familiar with the biannual angler mail surveys conducted by FWP. It is used to estimate angler pressure (angler days) for individual waters. The last survey was conducted from March 2011-February 2012, and for this period it is estimated that licensed anglers collectively dipped their lines into Montana waters on about 2.8 million angler days. These numbers were actually down roughly 17% from the survey conducted two years previously in 2009-2010, likely due in part to the very cold, wet weather across Montana in the spring and summer of 2011 which may have kept many people indoors. If you are interested in the results of this latest survey, which also provides estimates of outfitter use, angler satisfaction scores, crowding ratings and more—you can read or download the documents from the FWP website here. The 2013-2014 angler survey will begin in April 2013 when questionnaires will be mailed to randomly-selected licensed anglers requesting information about their fishing activities in March. Mailings will occur on a monthly basis through next February, and FWP appreciates those folks who are willing to take a few moments to fill out the questionnaire and send back to us in the provided pre-paid envelope. This year for the first time FWp will also be giving anglers the option to go online and provide the information electronically. If this is a more convenient way for you to provide thIS data, then we encourage you to give it a try because it helps by saving money on return postage.
Until next year, FWP hopes you will take every opportunity to enjoy and explore Montana's waters and renowned fisheries.
Download of the PDF file may take several minutes even with a HIGH SPEED connection.
2013 Annual Fishing Newsletter
|Pages 1–88||12.8 MB|