Brett French reports: As private fish ponds multiply, so do FWP’s problems
By angelamontana

Posted: April 11, 2024

Private fish ponds have become a popular amenity on Montana properties, with Fish, Wildlife & Parks processing, on average, 200 permits for new ponds and renewals every year. Private pond licenses cost only $10 and last for 10 years. Private commercial ponds, which can sell fish, are permitted at the same price but have to be inspected and renewed every year. A legislative subcommittee is looking into the pond permitting issue, trying to decipher if higher fees should be levied to cover FWP costs. They are also examining regulations tied to private ponds. One issue looms large, a fear of introducing aquatic invasive species into Montana. These species may be unknowingly shipped into the state via fish stocking trucks. Only authorized out of state facilities can be used, but illegal sources have also been utilized. Eileen Ryce, administrator of FWP’s Fisheries Division, said the threat of importing AIS may be higher from pond stocking than contaminated boats. At the end of the legislative process, there’s a chance the committee may recommend changes to the existing process. Find out what legislators have already learned by reading my story at:

Written by Brett French | Outdoors Editor for Billings Gazette
New Podcast!

Riley's Meats - Butte Wild Game Processing