The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission is seeking public comment on a tentative, one-time waiver of the 22-inch minimum, one bass per day limit on Noxon Rapids Reservoir for the Montana B.A.S.S. Federation. The B.A.S.S. Federation requested the waiver in order to sponsor the B.A.S.S. Federation Western Divisional Tournament. The same waiver was granted when the tournament was held in Montana in 1994.
The waiver would allow fishing contest participants to hold up to five fish per day during a proposed contest on May 21-23, 2003. All fish are released at the end of the day.
The B.A.S.S. Federation also requested a one-time waiver of the new fishing contest rules on contest application and approval time frames. The B.A.S.S. Federation Western Divisional Tournament requires more time for organization and advertisement than the new FWP Fishing Contest Rules provide.
Approximately 120 participants are expected to compete for prizes worth $15,000. The proposed entry fee is $200 for each 10-member team. The tournament is catch-and-release, requiring all fish to be released alive following weigh-in. Teams lose points for fish that die from handling during the contest.
Public comments will be accepted through July 30, 2002 and should be sent to the Fisheries Division, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, P.O. Box 200701, 1420 East Sixth Avenue, Helena, MT 59620-0701. Comments may also be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The FWP Commission will take final action on the regulation waiver request at its next scheduled meeting, August 7-8 in Great Falls.