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License News, Lake Five Open House
Headlines - Region 1

Friday, February 25, 2005

NEW FISHING LICENSES NEEDED BEGINNING MARCH 1; WARM WATER STAMP REQUIRED ON CERTAIN LAKES

The new year for hunting and fishing licenses begins March 1.  This means that current fishing and hunting licenses expire on February 28, with the exception of licenses that cover fur trapping and mountain lion hunting. Licenses for the 2005 license year are now available at FWP offices and license providers.  Licenses can also be purchased online at fwp.mt.gov.

A change in fishing regulations affecting Northwest Montana is the requirement of a $5 Warm Water Fishing Stamp to catch and keep warm water fish (bass, pike, perch, crappie) on certain lakes.  These lakes include: Blanchard, Echo, Half Moon, Island, Lower Thompson, Murphy, Savage, Spencer, Loon (Lincoln County), and Loon (Ferndale).  The two Loon Lakes received plants of smallmouth bass last summer; the other eight lakes received plants of largemouth bass.  Montana law requires a warm water stamp for anglers keeping warm water fish on lakes that receive these plants.  The money collected will go towards maintenance of the Fort Peck Warm Water Fish Hatchery.

 REMINDER FOR SPRING TURKEY HUNTERS

Montana's spring turkey gobbler season runs April 9 to May 15 this year.  Residents must have a conservation and upland game bird license and nonresidents will need a conservation license to purchase a turkey license.  The spring season turkey license is $5 for residents and $115 for nonresidents.

 In addition to opportunities to hunt gobblers in most of eastern Montana's general turkey hunting areas, special spring turkey gobbler permits are available through special drawings in areas of western Montana.  In northwest Montana, there are three turkey hunting units:

Flathead Valley Hunting Unit: Spring gobbler tags are sold over the counter, no permit needed;

Lincoln County Unit: 300 spring gobbler permits;

Sanders County Unit: 200 spring gobbler permits.

Hunters interested in these special turkey hunting permits for the Lincoln and Sanders County units must apply by March 15 at FWP offices or online.

 Applicants for special spring turkey permits may apply online, in writing, or download the application from the FWP web site, and send it to the Regional Office of the special permit area they would like to hunt.

The written application must include name, address, ALS number, indicate which county the application is for, and include a $3 nonrefundable drawing fee.  
Hunters must have the current 2005 conservation license. Hunters can send the information and $3 fee to: FWP, 490 North Meridian Road, Kalispell, MT  59901.  Hunters can also stop in at the office on North Meridian Road to apply.

Details on spring turkey hunting in the general hunting areas and special permit areas are available in the 2005 Spring Turkey Hunting Regulations, found on the FWP website (fwp.mt.gov) or available at Regional Offices or license providers.

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REMINDERS FOR SPRING BLACK BEAR HUNTERS

To hunt in the spring black bear season, black bear hunters must purchase a license by April 14. Licenses purchased after April 14 can only be used for the fall black bear season. Only one black bear license a year is issued to an individual. Hunters are reminded that they must successfully complete bear ID training before purchasing a black bear license. Hunters who have already successfully passed the bear identification do not need to retake the training. However, all black bear hunters are urged to continuously hone their bear identification skills to distinguish a black bear from a grizzly.  Grizzly bears, a federally protected, threatened species, are not hunted in Montana.

 To take the test, go to the FWP web site at  www.fwp.mt.gov,  click on education, then click on the Black Bear ID test icon. Complete the training and test, and then present the on-line certificate you receive to purchase a license this year. Paper versions of the training and test are also available.

 Spring black bear hunters in northwest Montana are reminded that they must select Bear Hunting Districts 103, 106, and 107, or the rest of the state when they purchase their license.

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HUNTER EDUCATION COURSES SCHEDULED FOR EUREKA, COLUMBIA FALLS; BOWHUNTER REGISTRATION OPENS FOR KALISPELL BOW ED

Hunter Education Schedules have been announced for Eureka and Columbia Falls:

 Eureka:  Registration/Introduction: March 7, 7 p.m. at the Eureka Middle School Library.  Classes are held in the Eureka Middle School Library from 7-9 p.m. on March 14,15,17,21,22,24; class is also held Saturday March 19.  Contact: Ron Hvizdak, 889-3791.

 Columbia Falls: Registration: April 6, 6-8 p.m.; Saturday April 9, noon-4p.m.at the Columbia Falls Community Center; Classes held 7-9 p.m. at Columbia Falls High School on April 21,25,26,28,May 2,3,5,9; field course is Saturday, May 7.  Contact: Wade and Penny Fish, 862-6359.

By state law, anyone born after January 1, 1985, must have completed the Hunter Education Course to buy a hunting license in Montana.  The minimum age for hunting in Montana is 12.  A parent or guardian must accompany students under 18 to sign the registration form.  The course is free of charge.

 Bowhunter Education, Kalispell:

By state law, all first time bowhunters must pass the bowhunter education course in order to purchase an archery hunting stamp.

 Kalispell:  Register in person from 8-5 weekdays beginning Tuesday, March 1 at Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Headquarters on North Meridian Road and pick up pre-course materials and schedule. The course is held March 22, 25, and 28 from 6:30-9 p.m.; the field course is held Saturday March 26, 9 a.m. to noon.  All classes are held at the Flathead Valley Trap Club north of Kalispell.  The class will be limited to 40 students.

Other Kalispell area classes will be held in April, May, June, and July.

******************************************************************************PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 8 ON PROPOSED FISHING ACCESS SITE FOR LAKE FIVE

 Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) Region One, has written a draft environmental assessment for the purpose of developing a fishing access site on Lake Five in Flathead County.  An open house will be held on March 8, 2005, between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at the Hungry Horse Ranger Station (signed as the Three Forks Ranger District), 8975 Hwy 2 East in Hungry Horse, to take comment.   

A preliminary plan and draft environmental assessment (EA) have been developed, and a public process established in order for the public to be able to comment on the project.  The draft EA is on the FWP web site.  A hard copy will be mailed upon request.  Contact Nancy Ivy at Fish, Wildlife & Parks, 490 N. Meridian Road, Kalispell, MT  59901, (406) 751-4579 or e-mail to nivy@mt.gov.  Public comment will be accepted through March 18, 2005, with a final decision being made after the public comment period.  Written comment can be mailed to Fish, Wildlife & Parks, 490 N. Meridian Road, Kalispell, MT  59901, or e-mailed to mawatkins@mt.gov. 

 The alternatives considered in the draft EA are:

Alternative I:  No Action: FWP would not accept the donation of ten acres on Lake Five and would not develop a fishing access site on the property.  The funds donated for the purchase and management of the property would be returned. 

 Alternative II:  Minimal Development: In this alternative FWP would accept the donation of ten acres on Lake Five and would develop a fishing access site on the property.  In this alternative FWP would construct a day-use boat access area for 7 vehicle and trailer combinations, and 16 parking sites for individual cars.  Development would include a gravel entrance road, parking, a vault toilet, boat ramp, dock, canoe launch, signs and gates.  In this alternative the level of development is reduced from Alternative III.  No host pad would be installed, and the roads would be gravel instead of paved.

 Alternative III:  Preferred Alternative: In this alternative FWP would construct a day-use boat access area for 7 vehicle and trailer combinations, and 16 parking sites for individual cars.  Development would include a paved entrance road, parking, a vault toilet, boat ramp, dock, canoe launch site, signs and gates, and a host pad.  All the facilities, with the exception of the host pad, will be developed in the primary development project. The host pad will be completed after proper permitting and zoning is completed, and will include power, a well, and a septic system.  The purpose of having a host on-site is to reduce impacts to adjacent property owners and other residents on the lake by closing the site at night, providing maintenance services, and providing someone to contact enforcement if problems occur.   

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