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Species Removal & Relocation

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Environmental Assessment for Non-Native Trout Suppression in Cooney Creek

07/16/2019

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (MFWP) in collaboration with the University of Montana and the MPG Ranch propose to remove non-native trout species using backpack electrofishing equipment in Cooney Creek. The proposed project would occur annually during the summer months (June, July, August, and September) starting in 2019. Funding for the project will be primarily provided by MPG Ranch with labor assistance from MFWP. The goal of the project is to suppress non-native rainbow trout and brook trout to benefit native westslope cutthroat and bull trout.

(Region 1 - Species Removal & Relocation)

Environmental Assessment for the Conservation of Native Westslope Cutthroat Trout in Ramshorn Creek by removal of Nonnative Brook and hybrid Rainbow x Cutthroat Trout with Rotenone

04/03/2019

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) is seeking comments on an Environmental Assessment to conserve native Westslope Cutthroat Trout by removing non-native brook and hybrid rainbow x cutthroat trout from Ramshorn Creek. Comments on the proposed environmental assessment will be used to make a final decision on whether to proceed with the project as planned. Westslope Cutthroat Trout (WCT), Montana’s state fish, has declined by 96% in the Upper Missouri River basin. The single largest threat to the long-term persistence of WCT is non-native trout. Ramshorn Creek is one of three streams within the Ruby watershed that still supports a genetically unaltered WCT population; however, it is only comprised of about 170 fish confined to 0.9 miles of stream and is at high risk of replacement by non-native Brook and hybrid Rainbow x Cutthroat Trout. Removal of non-native trout from 11 miles of Ramshorn Creek will secure and expand its WCT population. Removing non-native trout will protect the WCT population from invasion and provide about 12 miles of habitat that will allow the population to expand to over 20,000 individuals, making it one of the strongest in Southwest Montana.

(Region 3 - Species Removal & Relocation)

Environmental Assessment for the Reintroduction of Native Westslope Cutthroat Trout in Tepee Creek after Removal of Non-Native Trout with Rotenone

03/22/2019

The Department of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) is seeking comment on a proposed project to restore native Westslope Cutthroat Trout (WCT) to the headwaters of Tepee Creek. Comments on the proposed project will be used to guide the development of an Environmental Assessment under the Montana Environmental Policy Act. MFWP is requesting public input and comments on the proposed project by April 17, 2019 and will determine the need for a public meeting(s) based on public interest. If you have any questions regarding the proposed project, please call Dave Moser (FWP, Area Fisheries Biologist) at (406) 994-6938.

(Region 3 - Species Removal & Relocation)

Environmental Assessment of rotenone treatment of Gallatin Valley ponds for the purpose of removing smallmouth bass and restocking with appropriate sportfish species.

03/18/2019

The Department of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) is seeking comments on a Programmatic Environmental Assessment to remove smallmouth bass from Gallatin Valley Ponds. Comments on the proposed environmental assessment will be used to make a final decision on whether to proceed with the project as planned. Illegally introduced smallmouth bass were discovered in a pond near Belgrade Montana. In addition, FWP suspects two other ponds in the Gallatin Valley may have smallmouth bass populations. Using environmental DNA, FWP sampled most public ponds in the Gallatin Valley to determine the presence or absence of smallmouth bass. The pond near Belgrade, MT was the only water shown to be positive for smallmouth. Other area private ponds were not tested, and FWP is aware of two ponds that may have smallmouth bass in the Gallatin Valley. In the 1970’s, FWP stocked largemouth bass into a series of ponds near Three Forks, MT. Since then, Illegal introduction have resulted in largemouth bass in nearly all public ponds in the Valley, including a report of largemouth bass being caught in Hyalite Reservoir. FWP has also documented hundreds of illegal introduction of warm water fish species in the Flathead Valley. FWP anticipates a similar spread pattern with smallmouth bass; however, largemouth bass are more of a lake/pond species, whereas smallmouth bass do much better in riverine systems. FWP is concerned that further illegal introductions from this source will result in smallmouth bass populations in Upper Missouri River waters. Smallmouth bass would thrive in some area rivers and likely cause irreparable harm to wild trout populations. Once smallmouth bass were successfully removed from a community pond, FWP will restock the pond with rainbow trout. FWP will work with any private pond owner to restore a fishery to appropriate game fish species after the treatment has been completed. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is requesting public input and comments on the proposed project by April 17, 2019. MFWP will schedule a public meeting for early April.

(Region 3 - Species Removal & Relocation)

Western Montana Sharp-tailed Grouse Reintroduction Draft Environmental Assessment Open to Public Comment

02/15/2019

Helena, MT – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking public comment on a proposal to reintroduce sharp-tailed grouse to western Montana. Montana continues to support nearly all native species that were here historically present in the state. Sharp-tailed grouse are one of only a few native species missing from their original range in western Montana. They have deep cultural significance to native peoples and are a valued game species in eastern portions of the state. Over the last 10 years, a genetic analysis, habitat evaluation, and restoration plan for sharp-tailed grouse in western Montana was completed and suggested that restoration was feasible. After evaluating this new information, FWP has developed four alternative strategies for restoring sharp-tailed grouse to western Montana and is seeking public comment to help guide our final decision. Public comments can be submitted to either of the following addresses below and must be received by 5 p.m. on March 17, 2019.

(Region 1 - Species Removal & Relocation)

 

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5 public notices are currently available for public comment.