FWP updates and briefs

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2019 Deer, Elk, Antelope regulations available on FWP website

The 2019 Deer/Elk/Antelope Regulations are available on the Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks website at fwp.mt.gov/hunting/regulations.

Hunters will notice some formatting changes to this year’s Deer/Elk/Antelope Regulations. The regulations booklet has been reorganized and reformatted for better flow and clarity. In addition, the legal descriptions will be published in a separate booklet.

Hard copies of the hunting regulations will be on the shelf at FWP offices and local license providers in April.

Elk and deer permit applications due March 15

The deadline for hunters interested in applying for elk or deer permits for the 2019 season is Friday, March 15.

Fortunately, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks online application process and application packet make it simple to apply. An easy-to-use application packet is available at FWP offices and online at fwp.mt.gov.

Resident hunters need a 2019 conservation, elk or deer license, and base hunting license to apply for a special elk or deer permit. Everything else needed to apply is in the application and information packet.

Archery hunters must have purchased a Montana bow and arrow license prior to hunting.

To purchase a bow and arrow license an individual must meet one of the following requirements:

•Show completion of a bowhunter education course

•Show proof of purchase of a previous year’s bow and arrow license from Montana or another state

Signed affidavits are no longer acceptable as proof of bowhunter education.

Hard copies of the hunting regulations will be on the shelf at FWP offices and local license providers in April.

Hunters will notice some changes to this year’s Deer/Elk/Antelope Regulations. The regulations booklet has been reorganized and reformatted for better flow and clarity. In addition, the legal descriptions will be published in a separate booklet.

FWP to hold meeting to discuss non-native status of walleye

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will host a meeting on Thursday, Feb. 28, to discuss the non-native status of walleye in Montana. The meeting will be held at the Montana Association of Counties building, 2715 Skyway Drive in Helena at 6 p.m.

At the December meeting of the Fish & Wildlife Commission, FWP staff presented the Statewide Fisheries Management Program and Guide for release for public comment.

Also at that meeting, walleye advocates presented a map from peer-reviewed literature that showed the native range for walleye included all of Montana east of the Continental Divide.

FWP conferred with experts from around the country and did extensive literature research and, based on the best information available, determined that walleye are not native to Montana.

FWP manages for both native and non-native sport fish species to provide ample angling opportunities. However, in some cases, the agency emphasizes native species management while still providing sport fishing opportunities.

Some Montana native fish species receive special conservation status and are identified as Montana’s Species of Concern. These native fish are considered at-risk due to declining population trends, threats to habitat or restricted distribution.

Pallid sturgeon, Kootenai River white sturgeon, sauger, paddlefish and Yellowstone and westslope cutthroat trout fall into this category.

While non-native fish receive no special conservation status, they comprise the bulk of sport fishing opportunities in Montana.

Some of the state’s iconic species in terms of angling -- rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout and walleye -- are all non-native fish. FWP actively manages for these species to provide angling opportunity throughout the state.

At the Feb. 28 meeting, FWP will discuss the information regarding walleye status that was presented at the December commission meeting and present information that FWP used to determine that a status change is not needed.

Printing costs for fishing regulations updated

The 2019 Montana Fishing Regulations were printed and distributed with incorrect information on the costs for printing and distribution.

The correct information is as follows: “295,000 copies of this public document were published at an estimated cost of $0.2033334 per copy, for a total cost of $59,983.53, which includes $59,983.53 for printing and $.00 for distribution.”

Hunting closures

All mountain lion hunting to close in HD’s 200, 201

The hunting of all mountain lions in western Montana hunting districts 200 and 201 -- which include portions of Mineral, Sanders and Missoula counties -- will close one-half hour after sunset on Friday, Feb. 22.

Male mountain lion hunting closed in HD’s 211, 216

The hunting of male mountain lions in western Montana hunting districts 211 and 216 -- which includes portions of Granite and Missoula counties -- closed Feb. 17.

Mountain lion hunting closed in HD’s 210, 331

The hunting of all mountain lions in western Montana hunting district 210 -- which includes portions of Missoula and Granite counties -- closed Feb. 21.

The hunting of all mountain lions in southwestern Montana hunting district 331 -- which includes portions of Beaverhead, Silver Bow and Madison counties -- closed Feb. 21.

The order halting hunts came shortly after Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials received word that the pre-established harvest quota for these districts had been met.

For more information on quotas and closures, visit FWP’s website at fwp.mt.gov, click on “Hunting” then choose “Drawing & Quota Status”, or call the toll-free number at 1-800-385-7826.

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