More than $454,000 in funding was approved recently by the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Park Commission for 27 Future Fisheries Improvement projects. The funding will be matched by more than $1.3 from outside sources.
The FWP Commission makes final decisions on funding requests based on recommendations from a 14-member citizen panel. Sponsors of approved projects enter into an agreement with FWP to maintain project improvements through responsible land-management practices.
The commission approved funding for projects in Silver Bow, Lewis and Clark, Broadwater, Park, Carbon, Gallatin, Deer Lodge, Jefferson, Ravalli, Missoula, Stillwater, Beaverhead, Toole and Custer counties.
The improvements will help yellow perch, sauger, Arctic grayling, westslope cutthroat trout, bull trout, brown trout, rainbow and brook trout. Work includes instream flow enhancements; riparian fencing and channel re-vegetation; livestock water development; stream channel and spawning habitat improvements; stream bank stabilization using natural materials; fish passage improvements; and fish screens on irrigation diversions.
Applications for the next regular round of funding are due July 1. Special drought funding proposals to help maintain flows in streams and rivers are due March 29.
Application forms are available from all FWP regional offices. The application is also on FWP’s web page at www.fwp.state.mt.us. Click on Habitat, then Fish Habitat and look under Future Fisheries Program.
Any individual or group with a project designed to restore or enhance habitat for wild or native fish may apply for Future Fisheries Improvement Program funding. Applicants are encouraged to work with local FWP fisheries biologists. Landowners and other project partners usually share project costs, which extends Future Fisheries Improvement Program dollars.For more information on the Future Fisheries Improvement program, call (406) 444-2449 or write to: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Future Fisheries Improvement Program, P.O. Box 200701, Helena.