Montana's Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission is seeking public comment on the proposed classification of tilapia, an exotic fresh water fish, as a controlled species that may be possessed in Montana only with a Controlled Species Permit issued by FWP. Interest in raising tilapia for food has grown in recent years, but tilapia can become a troublesome invasive species if the fish is released or escapes into the wild.
Control measures that would be put in place by the proposed rule would require that tilapia be raised in an indoor facility with locked access restricted to individuals involved in the operation and maintenance of the facility.
A public hearing on the proposed classification of tilapia is set for June 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the FWP headquarters offices, 1420 East 6th Ave., in Helena.
A permit is required to possess, sell, purchase, breed, or exchange species classified as controlled. Noncontrolled species may be privately owned and prohibited species may not be possessed as pets in Montana.
Public comment on the proposed rule changes must be made by June 22 by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org ; or, in writing to: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Attn: Exotic Species, Fisheries P.O. Box 200701, Helena, Mt. 59620-0701.
Exotic species not yet classified cannot be imported into Montana. Forms to petition for the classification of an exotic species are available by calling: 406-444-2449.