At its Nov. 12 meeting, the Fish and Wildlife Commission tentatively approved a regulation change for yellow perch and walleye on Holter Reservoir. This proposed change is based on criteria outlined in the 2010 – 2019 reservoir fisheries management plan.
Annual fisheries monitoring this fall found that perch abundance had declined to 1.8 perch per net for a three-year average catch of 7.5 perch per net. At this population level, the management plan recommends reducing the angler bag limit to reduce impacts from harvest. The department proposed reducing the perch limit from 50 perch per day with no possession limit to 25 perch daily and in possession.
Walleye abundance this fall was 1.5 walleye per net for a three-year average catch of 2.4 walleye per net. The management plan does not prescribe specific action for walleye at this population level, but based on several years of abundance below the management goal, the department feels that action to improve walleye abundance is appropriate. The department is proposing to reduce the walleye bag limit from 10 walleye daily, only 1 fish over 25 inches in length, to 5 fish daily, only 1 over 25 inches. Possession limit would remain twice the daily limit.
The proposed regulation change can be viewed and comments accepted on the FWP website at http://fwp.mt.gov/news/publicNotices/fishing/pn_0095.html. Comments can also be emailed to email@example.com, attention Holter Regulations, or via U.S. mail to Holter Fish Regulations, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620. The department will accept comment on these proposals until Nov. 21.