Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking project proposals that will help maintain flows in streams and rivers in anticipation of the low water levels that may occur this summer in some parts of the state.
“Our special drought funding cycle is for projects that will both help immediately improve stream flow and bring lasting changes so we are better prepared in the future,” said Glenn Phillips, FWP habitat protection bureau chief.
The deadline to apply for this funding is March 29. The Future Fisheries Review Panel will evaluate proposals on April 1. The FWP Commission will consider projects recommended for funding by the review panel for final approval on April 8.
Phillips said he is particularly interested in water leases or other innovative projects that enhance instream flow and benefit fisheries.
“Projects might include replacing a surface diversion with a well; improving the efficiency of an irrigation system with the water savings left in-stream; or dedicating water to in-stream use through a lease agreement,” Phillips said.
FWP and the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation staff will work with successful applicants to ensure that water rights dedicated to in-stream use are protected.
Applicants are encouraged to coordinate a project with the FWP fisheries biologist in their area. The Future Fisheries Program application form will be used for this special drought funding cycle.
Information describing the program and the Future Fisheries grant application form are available on the FWP web page at www.fwp.state.mt.us. Click on Habitat, then Fish Habitat and look under Future Fisheries Program.The Future Fisheries Improvement Program’s regular deadlines of July 1 and Jan. 1 are additional opportunities for project funding.