Montana fisheries officials will host a public meeting Oct. 9 in Lewistown to discuss and seek comment on a draft statewide fisheries management plan that would establish goals and direction for fisheries management, habitat protection and improvement, fishing access and angling opportunities for the next six years.

“The plan is essentially a road map that will provide guidance to the public and decision makers for each of Montana’s river drainages,” said Bruce Rich, fisheries bureau chief for Fish, Wildlife & Parks in Helena. “It will also guide how FWP will work to set priorities on different waters to better serve anglers and public officials.”

Rich said the key for FWP is to have a long-term plan that provides specific direction and goals but one that is also flexible enough to allow for adaptive management based on changing circumstances within agreed upon sideboards.

The public meeting will run from 7-8:30 p.m. at the FWP Lewistown Area Office, 215 W. Aztec Drive near the airport.

The “Draft Statewide Fisheries Management Plan” presents information on topics ranging from wild fish management to hatchery fish stocking guidelines, among other programs. It focuses on services provided by FWP as well as the history of Montana’s fisheries, management issues and concerns, and long-term goals and objectives for state fisheries programs.

Public comment can be submitted from Sept. 10 through Oct. 12. To review and comment on the draft plan visit FWP’s website at fwp.mt.gov and click on “Statewide Fisheries Management Plan“.  Comments can also be sent by mail to: Statewide Fisheries Management Plan, Montana FWP, 1420 E. 6th Ave., Helena, MT 59620. For information about the plan, call Don Skaar at 406-444-7409.

Image courtesy Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks

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