More than $250,000 in funding was approved recently by the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Park Commission for 15 Future Fisheries Improvement Program projects. The funding will be matched by more than $850,000 from outside sources.
The FWP Commission made its final decision 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 Madison, Cascade, Missoula, Lewis and Clark, Ravalli, Beaverhead, Carbon, Powell, Judith Basin, Teton, Park and Granite counties.
The improvements will help Arctic grayling, westslope cutthroat trout, Yellowstone cutthroat trout, bull trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout. Work includes riparian fencing and re-vegetation; stream channel and spawning habitat improvements; stream bank stabilization using natural materials; fish passage improvements; fish screens on irrigation diversions; water management to improve stream flows, and installing barriers to protect a genetically pure population of Yellowstone cutthroat trout.
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 April 1.
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 to extend 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, Montana 59620-0701.