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Spotted Eagle Sport Fish Enhancement EA Checklist

Development, Improvements, and Enhancements

Thu May 24 12:52:00 MDT 2012

Spotted Eagle reservoir is located in the town of Miles City off of Garryowen road. The reservoir and surrounding property is owned by the City of Miles City. Spotted Eagle receives its water from the Fish, Wildlife & Parks state fish hatchery in Miles City which pumps water from the Yellowstone River and its spillway drains to the Tongue River. The City of Miles City and the Miles City Chapter of Walleyes Unlimited of Montana have invested time and money into making the property and reservoir a quality recreational opportunity for the local community and surrounding region. Fish, Wildlife & Parks Miles City hatchery and fish crew stock and monitor the fish assemblage in Spotted Eagle Reservoir. Tongue and Yellowstone River flood flows in the spring of 2012 caused water to back up the short ditch between the Tongue River and Spotted Eagle Reservoir spillway allowing non-game river species of fish common to the Tongue and Yellowstone Rivers to colonize the reservoir. It is the goal of Fish, Wildlife & Parks to manage Spotted Eagle as a sport fishing opportunity for the local community and surrounding region. Largemouth bass, northern pike, walleye, channel catfish, bluegill, crappie, and yellow perch have all been stocked or transferred to Spotted Eagle over the years to provide angling opportunity. Common carp, river carpsucker, goldeye, shorthead redhorse sucker, white sucker, longnose sucker, bullheads, bigmouth and smallmouth buffalo are non-target fish species that are present in Spotted Eagle Reservoir. These non-target fish are competing with target sport fish in the reservoir for nutrients and habitat that are already limited and exacerbate the problems of slow growth and survival that currently exist for many of the target sport fish species in Spotted Eagle. Region 7 fisheries staff proposes several activities or projects to enhance the sport fishing opportunity in Spotted Eagle Reservoir including: 1) Mechanical removal (gillnetting and disposal) of non-target fish from Spotted Eagle Reservoir 2)Wild Fish Transfer of yellow perch from Johnson Reservoir to Spotted Eagle Reservoir 3) Construction of a fish barrier in the Spotted Eagle spillway ditch that would prevent non-target fish from recolonizing the reservoir under all but extreme flood flows. 4) Construction of sandstone rock fingers to extend from the shoreline into the reservoir providing fish habitat and bank fishing opportunity to deeper water. 5) Construction of control structure in inflow channel to divert high turbidity water and sediment into cattail slough instead of Spotted Eagle Reservoir. This should prevent sedimentation, retain reservoir water depth (essential for fish overwinter survival) and alleviate localized shoreline erosion that the City has observed on southeast corner of reservoir.

Contact Information

Caleb Bollman P.O. Box 1630 Miles City, MT 59301 (406) 234-0914

Public Comment

The public comment period for this public notice ended on Mon Jun 04 13:06:00 MDT 2012.