Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks continues to solicit public comments on several fishing regulation issues that have arisen while considering possible fishing regulation changes for the 1998-99 biennium.
Proposed changes in regulations, based on the public comments received, will be submitted to the FWP Commission for adoption as tentative regulations one last time before they are adopted as final 1998-99 fishing regulations in November.
One issue drawing a number of questions/comments from the public is a proposal to establish a new statewide "residence possession" limit of 10 fish for all species under limit A. But the proposal also has spawned some confusion among those offering comments.
According to Jim Satterfield, Fisheries Management bureau chief for FWP in Helena, the proposed "residence possession" limit would allow every legally licensed angler in a household and anglers not requiring a license (children under 12) to possess up to 10 fish included in limit A at their legal residence. "A number of people have misunderstood this proposal to mean that only 10 fish could be in possession at any residence, regardless of the number of residing anglers," he said. "This is not the intent."
Some other points to consider, Satterfield continued, are:
- this "residence possession" limit would apply to all fishing districts;
- the present daily/possession limits (under limit A for each fishing district) would remain the same for anglers in the field;
- this regulation would only pertain to an angler's domicile; not their camp, trailer, etc.;
- in instances where more than one angler lives at a residence, one angler may not donate fish to another member of his/her family; the fish in an angler's possession must be lawfully caught only by that angler. So, this new proposal would not allow an angler to stock the family freezer with 10 fish per household member.
Copies of complete issues summary are available from the Fisheries Division, Fish, Wildlife & Parks, 1420 East Sixth Avenue, PO Box 200701, Helena MT 59620-0701. Written comments on the issues should be sent to the same address by June 6, 1997.