Chicago Gulch Creek is a headwater tributary to Fords Creek which drains the eastern aspect of the Judith Mountains. Approximately 3 miles of Chicago Gulch is on private lands, about 1 mile state lands and 1 mile on BLM lands. Chicago Gulch currently supports non native brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). The proposed action is to remove all of the non-native fish in Chicago Gulch and its tributaries on approximately 4.5 miles of stream. Treatment will occur upstream from a dry reach using the piscicide CFT Legumine™ (5% liquid rotenone). We then proposed to restock Chicago Gulch Creek with locally obtained, non-hybridized westslope cutthroat trout (WCT). It is predicted the population of WCT would be very robust (>2500 individuals). Based on the Draft Environmental Assessment, public comment and the currently high risk of extinction of WCT in the Missouri Drainage, it is my decision to proceed with Alternative 2, the proposed action. Alternative 2 involves removal of an existing fish population of brook trout. Removals will involve piscicides. The Draft Environmental Assessment, together with this decision notice, will serve as the Final Environmental Assessment document for this proposal. No significant impact on the human or physical environment except to help ensure the long-term persistence of pure WCT in the Missouri River drainage occurs with this project and the Environmental Assessment is the appropriate level of analysis. (Decision Notices - 07/31/2012)
The Skibstad wildfire is burning near Columbus, Montana. Fire suppression efforts include several helicopters bucketing water from Cooney Reservoir. The closure is necessary so helicopter crews can safely operate and maneuver without potential collisions with recreationists on the river. The closure is also necessary so recreationists, including those with limited maneuverability, are not subject to potential collision with large, heavy water buckets suspended from helicopters.
(ARM Rules - 07/26/2012)
On April 26, 2012, the Department of Agriculture proposed a rule designating two invasive species management areas due to the presence of Eurasian watermilfoil. Montana Code Annotated 80-7-1010 states, "In a body of water designated as an invasive species management area, taking from the water or possessing any bait animal, dead or alive, including but not limited to crayfish, leeches, and minnows, is prohibited unless approved by the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks." The Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks proposed rules in order to allow bait within the Department of Agriculture's invasive species management areas and still minimize the further spread of Eurasian watermilfoil.
Both departments have adopted the proposed rules with changes. Please see the attached notices. (ARM Rules - 07/26/2012)
With this notice Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) and the Montana Department of Livestock (DoL) announce their intent to conduct an environmental review of allowing some bison to inhabit lands year-round adjacent to or near the border of Yellowstone National Park. The purpose of this scoping notice is to solicit interests, issues, and concerns regarding this proposal in order to guide our subsequent environmental review. (Species Assessment - 07/23/2012)
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP), in collaboration with Trout Unlimited and Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC), seeks public review of its proposal to install large woody debris features on a portion of main-stem Fish Creek that lies within state ownership in Mineral County, WSW of Alberton. The purpose is to improve habitat for native fish, restore natural stream processes and enhance the quality fishing in the project reach.
A draft environmental assessment (EA) has been prepared for this proposal. The EA may be obtained by downloading the files below or by mail from Region 2 FWP, 3201 Spurgin Rd., Missoula 59804.
(Development, Improvements, and Enhancements - 07/20/2012)