The Future Fisheries Improvement Program is proposing to provide partial funding to a project calling for the replacement of an undersized culvert located at a U.S. Forest Service road crossing on Klondike Creek with a free-span concrete bridge. The existing 48-inch in diameter culvert is undersized, impedes upstream fish passage in higher flows and is causing impairments to the stream channel. Replacing this culvert with a bridge would improve migratory connectivity to approximately 3 miles of upper Klondike Creek. The intent of the project is to improve upstream fish passage for a non-hybridized population of westslope cutthroat trout. The project site is located on Klondike Creek approximately 4 miles northwest of the town of Lincoln in Lewis and Clark County. (Development, Improvements, and Enhancements - 01/15/2013)
The Future Fisheries Program tentatively plans to provide partial funding for a project calling for the replacement of a push-up diversion dam located on Harvey Creek with construction of a rock cross vane. Harvey Creek is a tributary to the Clark Fork River. The intent of the project is to improve habitat conditions for populations of bull trout and genetically pure westslope cutthroat trout residing in Harvey Creek. The project site is located on the Harvey Creek Ranch approximately 3 miles southwest of Bearmouth in Granite County. (Development, Improvements, and Enhancements - 01/15/2013)
Fish, Wildlife & Parks is proposing a project to stabilize a portion of the Pumpkin Creek bank that significantly eroded during flooding and high water events in the spring of 2011. The high water and flooding caused the creek bank to erode and wash out the access road within Twelve Mile FAS. We would like to stabilize this portion of the Pumpkin Creek bank to prevent future erosion issues within this site. (Restoration & Rehabilitation - 01/14/2013)
FWP SEEKS COMMENT ON COMMERCIAL FISHING REGULATIONS
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking comment on proposed commercial fishing regulations on Lake Helena and Canyon Ferry Reservoir for the harvest of carp. The proposed regulations for 2013 specify the areas where carp can be harvested and the process for reporting commercial operations to FWP prior to fishing. Special regulations would help protect nesting waterfowl on Lake Helena and prevent conflicts with recreational anglers on Canyon Ferry. The FWP Commission is authorized to approve one commercial fishing operation for each body of water and to set the regulations. Only one individual has applied for the 2013 commercial fishing permit to harvest carp from Canyon Ferry Reservoir and Lake Helena. Comments are due by February 11, 2013.
(Fishing - 01/11/2013)
Surveys in the headwaters of Crawford Creek in 2003 documented the presence of a small population of pure native westslope cutthroat trout (WCT) above a waterfall barrier. Downstream Crawford Creek supported brook trout and hybridized WCT trout. A barrier was constructed on lower Crawford Creek in 2005. In 2006, approximately 1.5 miles of Crawford Creek upstream of the constructed fish barrier was treated with rotenone (EA 5/16/2006; DN 8/28/2006). A total of 196 live juvenile and adult WCT were transferred in 2007 and 2008 to the fishless habitat in Crawford Creek. Surveys in 2009 found rainbow and hybrid trout above the fish barrier. The Lewis and Clark National Forest identified a road crossing and culvert replacement project 0.10 miles downstream of the current failing fish barrier and was designed to meet requirements of both the USFS and the stringent criteria for a fish barrier. In the EA, we proposed using rotenone to remove hybridized fish from the lower reaches of Crawford Creek (1 to 1.5 miles of stream) after replacement of the old and inadequate culvert with the new culvert/fish barrier. Non-hybridized WCT remaining in the headwaters of Crawford Creek would then naturally re-populate the lower reaches of stream. The proposed action is nearly identical to the selected action described in the original EA (EA 5/16/2006; DN 8/28/2006). Under the proposed action, approximately 0.10 miles of additional downstream habitat would be treated with rotenone. Only the length of stream supporting non-native fishes would be treated. Non-hybridized WCT may currently occupy the headwaters of previously treated areas of Crawford Creek. These headwater areas would be assessed and eliminated from treatment plans. The level of environmental and human impacts described and addressed in the original EA are essentially unchanged. The proposed alternative would increase the total miles of stream holding non-hybridized WCT by approximately 5 percent in the Belt Creek Drainage. It is my decision to proceed with the restoration project to remove fish with piscicides in the stream reach above a constructed culvert fish barrier on Crawford Creek (Belt Creek Drainage) and allow the pure strain of WCT above the natural upstream barrier to repopulate the lower reaches. This alternative provides the best opportunity to benefit the conservation and restoration of WCT in Montana, will help relieve ESA listing pressure, and will also serve as to illustrate the State’s commitment to perpetuating native fish species.
(Decision Notices - 01/07/2013)