More than $792,000 in funding was approved by the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Park Commission in March for 23 Future Fisheries Improvement projects. The funding will be matched by more than $2 million from outside sources.
The FWP Commission makes final decisions on funding requests based on recommendations from a 13-member citizen panel. Sponsors of approved projects enter into an agreement with FWP to maintain project improvements through responsible land-management practices.
The Commission funded projects in these counties: Park; Lewis and Clark; Broadwater; Powell; Pondera; Ravalli; Deer Lodge; Missoula; Granite; Madison; Sanders; and Judith Basin.
The improvements will help westslope cutthroat, bull, brown and rainbow trout, as well as walleye and yellow perch. Work includes riparian fencing and channel re-vegetation; livestock water development; stream channel and spawning habitat improvements; stream bank stabilization using natural materials; fish passage improvements; spawning enhancements in reservoirs; removal of non-native fish to improve habitat for natives; and installation of a barrier to protect the genetic integrity of a native cutthroat population.
Applications for the next round of funding are due July 1. Application forms are available from FWP regional offices in Kalispell, Missoula, Bozeman, Great Falls, Billings, Glasgow, Miles City or the Fisheries Division in Helena. The application is also on FWP’s web page at 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, MT 59620-0701.