At its September 4 meeting in Helena, the FWP Commission approved 16 lake and stream restoration projects recommended for funding by the Future Fisheries Review Panel.
The Commission's action authorizes the use of approximately $130,000 in fishing license dollars on the projects. This amount will be matched with money from other funding sources, including private landowners, fishing organizations, conservation districts, and county and federal agencies to find over $250,000 in improvements as outlined in the proposed projects. All the projects were recommended for funding by the Future Fisheries Review Panel in August.
The projects will result in several improvements to fisheries resources in Montana, including establishing streamside vegetation (thus reducing sediment) restoring natural meanderers, replacing culverts that are barriers to fish migration and stabilizing and re-vegetating stream banks.
The Future Fisheries Review Panel was appointed by FWP Director Pat Graham in 1995 to review lake and stream restoration project proposals and to select projects eligible for funding under the Future Fisheries Improvement Program, created by the 1995 Legislature (HB 349) through passage of HB 349. HB 349 is intended to provide for the protection and enhancement of Montana fisheries through voluntary restoration of habitats for populations of wild fish, with an emphasis on native species.
Information on the projects approved for funding and the dollar amounts assigned to them is available on the state computer bulletin board in Helena, or can be obtained by sending a request to: Habitat Protection Bureau, Fisheries Division, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, PO Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.