HELENA – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is taking a new approach to the fishing regulations review and development process. The new process will be simpler and allow the department to be more responsive to public input and resource needs.

The biggest change the public will see is that fishing regulations booklets will be printed only on 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.”

The first step in the process is public outreach to see if people have fishing regulation changes they would like the department to consider. People with suggestions or interest can attend an upcoming public meeting or Citizen Advisory Council (CAC) meeting. Ideas can also be sent to fwpfishcomments@mt.gov.

Several public and CAC meetings to discuss fishing regulations are scheduled around the state:

  • Statewide:
  • May 11 – Zoom, 6-7:30 p.m., login information will be posted on the FWP website closer to the meeting date
  • Region 1:
  • May 9 – Kalispell, FWP office, 490 North Meridian, 4-7 p.m.
  • May 10 – Thompson Falls, FWP office, 5427 MT 200, 4-7 p.m.
  • May 19 – Libby, City Hall – Ponderosa Room, 952 E. Spruce, 4-7 p.m.
  • May 17 - CAC meeting at the Lone Pine Visitor Center, 5 p.m.
  • Region 2 – To be announced
  • Region 3
    • May 4 – Bozeman, CAC meeting at FWP office, 1400 S. 19th, 5:30 p.m.
  • Region 4
    • May 12 – Great Falls, CAC meeting at FWP office, 4600 Giant Springs Road,
      6-8 p.m.
  • May 17 – Lewistown, Lewistown Public Library, 7- 8:30 p.m.
  • May 24 – Great Falls, FWP office, 4600 Giant Springs Road, 7-8:30 p.m.
  • Region 5 – To be announced
  • Region 6
    • May 31 – CAC meeting, details to be announced
  • Region 7 – To be announced

More dates and details will be announced as they become available.

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