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Public Hearings On Proposed FWP Rules On Fishing Contests


Fri Jan 25 00:00:00 MST 2002

The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission is seeking public comment on proposed changes to the rules that regulate fishing contests.  Fishing contests have grown annually from a handful of traditional contests to nearly 50 annually in the state. 

A fishing contest is any event, contest, derby or tournament where an entry fee is charged and in which people compete to win prizes or cash for the capture of fish.

The proposed rule changes would require applications to be submitted between September 1 and October 1 for open water contests proposed for the following March 1 through December1.  Applications for ice fishing contests would be submitted between May 1 and June 1 for contests proposed for the following December 1 through March 1. 

Contest sponsors would, under the proposed rules, need to demonstrate they have approval to use each fishing site and would be responsible for public safety, trash removal and restroom facilities at FWP access sites during the contest.

FWP will evaluate the applications based on the impacts of the contest on the fish population, the aquatic ecosystem and the immediate area; the compatibility of the contest with the fisheries management objectives for the particular body of water; how the contest format fits with the successful release of live fish for catch and release contests; potential conflicts with other users; and conflicts with other contests proposed for a body of water. FWP will provide an opportunity for public comment on each application.

Text of the proposed rule change is available on the FWP web site under “Public Notices” or may be requested by calling 406-444-3301.  Comments may be made during public hearings on the rule or submitted in writing to Karen Zackheim; Fish, Wildlife & Parks, 1420 East Sixth Ave., P.O. Box 200701; Helena, MT 59620-0701; faxed to 406-444-4952 or emailed to  Comments must be received by Feb. 15.

Public hearings are scheduled as follows:

Feb. 6 at 7 p.m.

Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Region 6 Headquarters

Rural Route 1 – 4210

Glasgow, MT

Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.

Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Region 5 Headquarters

2300 Lake Elmo Dr.

Billings, MT

Feb. 11 at 7 p.m.

Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Region 2 Headquarters

3201 Spurgin Rd.

Missoula, MT