FWP Statewide Fisheries Management Plan


The Guide provides a framework for how programs within the Fisheries Division function and outline how fisheries are managed across Montana. The Guide contains two parts: Part I summarizes specific programs within the division and how those programs support fisheries activities; Part II is organized by drainage and provides and overview of fisheries priorities and challenges within each drainage and outlines priorities for primary waterbodies within drainages. The Guide is intended to inform fishing regulation setting during 4-year review and to serve as a reference to the angling and recreational public. This document was previously known as the Statewide Fisheries Management Plan and was developed in 2013. The name was changed because the plan was not prescriptive in that it did not propose specific management actions if defined goals or objectives were not met. The current Guide will be in place from 2019-2027.

Please use the link below to review the official Draft plan on the FWP website and they are asking for your feedback on this public notice.

**The Fisheries Division of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is extending the public comment period for the Statewide Fisheries Management Program and Guide to Feb. 4.

Statewide Management Programd & Guide Draft
History behind the Upper Missouri River management plan

Please contact your members and others and encourage them to send comments to the Commission at; fwcomm@mt.gov

2019 Legislative Walleye Feed


Hosted by Walleyes Unlimited of Montana
Wednesday January 23rd at 6:00pm, Jorgensons Inn & Suites

FWP Fisheries Update


Statewide Fisheries Management Program & Guide: This draft document was approved for public comment at the December commission meeting. We’ve had several requests from organized angling groups and the general public to extend the comment period on this large document. The comment period has now been extended to February 4. This pushes us out of the time frame to present the final Program & Guide at the February commission meeting, so this will likely be on the April commission agenda. Click the following link to view or comment on the Program & Guide: http://fwp.mt.gov/news/publicNotices/fishing/pn_0091.html

Upper Missouri River Reservoir Fisheries Management Plan: The draft plan presented at the October commission meeting was rejected due to lack of public input. We regrouped after the commission meeting and set up an online survey to collect some basic information on perceptions and expectations for the reservoir fisheries. We also held public meetings in Great Falls, Bozeman and Helena to collect comments. Over 4,000 people responded to the online survey and approximately 150 people attended the open houses. We are still sorting out all this input and will use the information to guide our next steps toward the new plan. Stay tuned.

Madison River Recreation Plan: The first meeting for the Madison Negotiated Rulemaking Committee is Monday, January 14 at the FWP office in Bozeman. This is currently a hot topic in SW Montana, but it has statewide implications regarding recreation management on many of our most popular waterbodies. Committee members have been chosen, but the meetings are open to the public and there will be opportunity at the end of each meeting for public comments.

Fishing Regulations: This year we’ll be doing a full review of the fishing regulations. We’re currently scoping FWP fisheries and enforcement staff for regulation proposals. Once we compile those we will have open houses throughout the state to scope for public comment. The proposed fishing regulations will be presented to the commission at the August meeting, with final adoption at the October meeting.

Legislature: There’s no shortage of action with the Legislature in town. HB2, which contains our budget request, isn’t scheduled yet. I will send you a note when we have a date for that. HB5, which contains capital funding for hatcheries, Future Fisheries, and Community Ponds has a hearing scheduled for January 18 in the House Appropriations Committee. There are a few AIS funding bills out there, but no committee hearings yet. There is a AIS work session scheduled for Monday, January 14. Things change pretty quickly during the session, so feel free to get in touch with any of us if you have questions about anything you see or hear.

I think that covers the highlights for now. Seems like there’s no shortage of fisheries related issues lately, so feel free to get in touch about anything I may have missed. Happy fishing!

Eric Roberts
Fisheries Management Bureau Chief
Fisheries Division
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

2019 Banquet and Tournaments


The 2019 Walleye Banquet and Tournament applications are available! We look forward to our new website starting in January! If you have not posted your Chapters Banquet information please send it WU-Webmaster.

Chapter Banquets
Great Falls - February 2nd - Montana Expo Park Building
Gallatin/Madison - February 16th - MSU Sub Ballroom
Crooked Creek - February 23rd - Lewistown Trade Center
Billings - March 2nd - Billings Hotel and Convention Center
Flathead - March 9th - Hilton Garden
Plentywood - March 9th - Sheridan County Civic Center
Glendive - March 23rd - Eastern Plains Event Center - STATE BANQUET
MonDak - combine with Glendive chapter for State banquet
Circle - March 30th - TBD
Northern Wyoming - May - TBD
Glasgow - April 6th - Valley Event Center
Fresno - April 13th - Havre Ice Dome
Upper Yellowstone - April 13th - Fairgrounds
Jordan - April 19th
Upper Missouri River - May 25th - Helena Civic Center

Montana Circuit
Crooked Creek - May 4-5
Tiber - May 18-19
Fresno - June 8-9
Canyon Ferry - June 22-23
Dual Dandy Entry Form

Fort Peck Circuit
Rock Creek - June 1-2
Gov Cup - July 11-14(FULL)
Hell Creek - July 27-28

2019 Legislative Session


The 2019 Legislative Session is just a few short weeks away staring January 7. Notice there are only two with Bill numbers, HB 32 is the bill to put fees on watercraft put together by the EQC. That title is open for all sorts of amendments as of now. HB 32 deals with pesticide applicators. The rest are Bill Draft Requests with mostly open titles so almost anything related to the subject could be inserted into the Bill. Two are on hold so won't be drafted until the Sponsor changes his mind or drops the request. At this point there is no information of the LCs because they haven't been drafted into Bill form.

Montana Legislative Wesbite

Ice Fishing Derby's


2019 Central Montana Perch Derby Eastfork Res. January 19th & 20st , 2019 2019 Central Perch Derby