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FWP Seeks Public Comment On Proposed Ice-Fishing Contests


Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking public comment on 12 fishing contests proposed for this winter and next spring. All but two of the proposed ice-fishing contests have been sponsored in past years.

The two new derbies proposed are:

*         Olney Hunter Safety Ice-Fishing Derby, sponsored by Thad’s Tackle Shop and the Stillwater Bar, to be held on Lower Stillwater Lake on March 7, 2004.

*         First Annual Havre Ice Fishing Derby, sponsored by the Havre Ag Chamber, proposed for Feb. 7 - 8 on Lower Beaver Creek County Park Reservoir.

Participants may catch and keep fish entered in the contests, but must comply with state fishing regulations, including daily and possession limits.

Other proposed contests are:

 In December 2003:

FWP Region 1             Smith Lake

 In January 2004:

 FWP Region 1             Thompson Chain of Lakes

FWP Region 3             Canyon Ferry Reservoir

FWP Region 4             Nilan Reservoir

 In February 2004:

 FWP Region 1             McGregor Lake                                 

FWP Region 3             Clark Canyon

FWP Region 4             Newlan Reservoir

                                    Lake Frances

FWP Region 6             Lower Beaver Creek County Park Reservoir

                                    Fort Peck Reservoir

 In March 2004:

 FWP Region 1             Lower Stillwater Lake

                                    Bitterroot Lake

Under the fishing contest rules, all applications for winter ice-fishing contests are due July 1 to allow time for processing applications. No holiday weekend contests are allowed under the new rules and in general contests may not be held on consecutive weekends.

Details on the proposed contests are contained in the table below.

Applications for contests may be approved, denied or approved with conditions. Conditions placed on contests may help to minimize fish mortality, regulate harvest, reduce user conflicts or require additional access site maintenance when necessary.

 The public may comment on the proposed contests through Sept. 25. Comments may be sent to FWP Fisheries Division, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620 or e-mailed to









Dec. 27, 2003

$3/adult; $1/kids;


Smith Lake


Sunrisers Lions Club / Sportsman

Ski Haus

Kalispell, MT

Jan. 17 & 18, 2004


475 participants

Lower, Middle & Upper Thompson, Crystal & Loon lake

Perch, Salmon, Rainbow and Pike

Kickin’ Horse Saloon & Eatery

Libby, MT

Jan. 17 & 18, 2004

$5/adult - $2/kids

$30/team (Sunday)

300 adults

50-75 kids

25-35 teams (Sun.)

Canyon Ferry

Perch and Ling


Perch Derby

Broadwater County Lions Club

Townsend, MT

Jan 24, 2004


250 participants

Nilan Reservoir

Trout and Suckers

Western Bar Ice Fishing Derby

Augusta, MT

Feb. 1, 2004

Clark Canyon

Rainbow and Burbot

Stan Shafer Memorial Ice Derby

Beaverhead Search & Rescue

Dillon, MT 59725

Feb. 7 & 8, 2004


500 participants (maximum)

Lower Beaver Creek County Park Reservoir

Walleye, Pike and Trout

1st Annual Havre Ice Fishing Derby

Havre Ag Chamber

Feb. 7 & 8, 2004


600 participants

McGregor Lake

Rainbow and Lake Trout

McGregor Lake Resort Annual Fishing Derby

Feb. 14, 2004

$50/one hole or

$100/three holes

350 participants

Fort Peck Lake

Walleye, Northern Pike, Perch, Ling, Carp and Sucker

Glasgow Area Chamber Ice Fishing Derby

Chamber of Commerce & Agric.

Feb. 15, 2004


90 participants

Newlan Reservoir

Trout and Ling

VFW Fish Derby

White Sulphur Springs, MT 59645

Feb. 21, 2004


200-250 participants

Lake Frances

Northern Pike, Perch

Valier Vol. Fire Dept. – Box 216

Valier, MT 59486

March 7, 2004



Lower Stillwater Lake

Northern Pike, Yellow Perch,

Lake Trout

Olney Hunter Safety Ice Fishing Derby

Thad’s Tackle Shop

/Stillwater Bar

March 16, 2004


300 participants

Bitterroot Lake

Kokanee and Rainbow

Bitterroot Derby

Boys & Girls Club

Kalispell, MT

 Note:  FWP will be accepting applications between Sept. 1 and Nov. 1 for open water contests proposed for Spring and Summer 2004. Request an application by writing to the address listed above or by calling the Fisheries Division at (406) 444-2449.

Applications are also available on the FWP Fishing Web page at