NEW PROCESS FOR FISHING REGULATION REVIEW CYCLE BEGINS WITH GATHERING IDEAS
By angelamontana

Posted: May 12, 2022

MISSOULA — Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is taking a new approach to the fishing regulations review and development process by moving to a two-year review cycle. One of the first steps in the process is to consider what changes people would like to see. These ideas will help inform specific fishing regulation proposals that will be out for public comment in late August.

Meetings to hear more about the process and to help inform ideas that could be considered for the 2023-24 regulations are being held around the state this month. A complete list of meetings is available online, along with a spot to submit ideas: fwp.mt.gov/fish/regulations/public-comment.

In west-central Montana, a Missoula meeting is set for May 25, beginning at 6 pm., at the FWP office (3201 Spurgin Road). Fisheries staff from the Clark Fork, Bitterroot and Blackfoot drainages (FWP Region 2) will discuss fishery status and fishing opportunities to provide background for discussion and inform ideas.

The biggest change the public will see with the new review cycle is that fishing regulations booklets will be printed only in odd-numbered years, with the next booklet ready by March 1, 2023, and valid through Feb. 28, 2025. The department’s proposals for the 2023-2024 regulations will put out for public comment Aug. 26, and comment will be taken until Sept. 22. Final commission action will occur at the scheduled Oct. 20 meeting.

“This will be a simpler process,” said Fisheries Division Administrator Eileen Ryce. “Staff will present proposals to the Fish and Wildlife Commission every other year, allowing better opportunity for public participation without the pressure to print new regulations booklets each year.”

Find out more and submit ideas online by Friday, May 27: fwp.mt.gov/fish/regulations/public-comment.  Or, email fishing regulation ideas to fwpfishcomments@mt.gov.

 

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