Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks

Montana FWP is holding public hearings on bison management in the state.
(PD)

Tuesday Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks begins a series of public hearings to gauge support for a publicly-managed bison herd. Whatever the state decides to do, FWP spokesman Tom Palmer says the interests of the livestock industry will be taken into account.

State wildlife officials are investigating a Moose poaching near Kalispell.
(PD)

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Game Warden Weston Oedekoven says we’ve entered a time of the year when some hunters are getting a little antsy.

MontanaFWP Wants Your Input On Bison Management

Jul 31, 2015
A bison herd at the National Bison Range in Montana.
USFWS (CC-BY-2)

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials will hold five public hearings in August to find out if there’s a place for bison on the Montana landscape. The first two hearings are scheduled next week in Bozeman and Billings. Bison are managed both as a wildlife species, and for disease control because of brucellosis.

Montana FWP is seeking public comment on proposed guidelines for reducing elk populations.
PD

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is seeking public comment on proposed guidelines to establish additional elk hunting seasons, called "shoulder seasons". Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ Quentin Kujala says they’d be used as a tool to reduce elk populations.

Showering after swimming in a lake or reservoir can help remove mites that cause swimmer's itch.
(PD)

Some swimmers got an unpleasant surprise after taking a dip in the Willow Creek reservoir east of Great Falls recently. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks reports several people developed a case of "swimmer’s itch", which can be anything from a minor annoyance to a major problem if scratching it leads to a bacterial infection.

A.J. Coulter guides fly fishing trips on rivers all around Montana. Recently, he’s been starting his trips earlier in the day to avoid angling in heat of the day so as to not catch unhealthy fish.
Corin Cates-Carney

Fish, and maybe you, are getting stressed out in this summer heat. But for fish, stress is made worse when, on top of trying to stay cool, they have to avoid eating a fly tied to a line.

In the heat wave of the past few weeks, guides and regulators have worked to protect fish during a time when fish are very vulnerable.

Bighorn sheep
(PD)

Hunters have less than a week to throw their name in the hat to win the chance for a dream hunt. Corin Cates-Carney reports on Montana’s SuperTag lottery deadline.

Fishing the North Fork of the Flathead
Flickr user: Minh-Kiet Callies (CC-BY-2.0)

Montana’s 21,000 miles of streams and rivers are open for free fishing this weekend in honor of father’s day.

Anyone with a fishing rod, resident or non-resident, can cast a line without a permit on June 20 & 21, as long as the angler follows posted regulations.

Shellfish In Montana: The Western Pearlshell

Jun 12, 2015

There are not many freshwater mussels west of the continental divide in Montana; in fact, there is only one native species here, the western pearlshell.

Mountain Lion in the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge
USFWS Mountain-Prairie (CC-BY-2.0)

Anyone who’s ever hunted mountain lions will tell you that finding just one cougar in the wild is hard. Imagine trying to count all the mountain lions in Montana….that’s a lot harder.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks game wardens are seeking information on a black bear poached just south of St. Regis. 

The bear was shot and killed with a rifle sometime between May 31 and June 3 about four miles up the south Fork of Little Joe Creek.

The North Valley Food bank has served road kill since the 1980s.
Corin Cates-Carney

When the North Valley Food Bank in Whitefish opened its redesigned building in 2013, it became unique among Montana food banks. While other food banks around the state have programs for hunters to bring donations of wild game, North Valley Food Bank is alone in butchering road kill on site.

Kqyn Kuka: Changing The Face Of The Game Warden

May 24, 2015

In 2007, Kqyn Kuka joined the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks as the second female game warden in Montana. In 2015, out of 100 game wardens statewide, four are women.

American paddlefish
Timothy Knepp - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

One week into Montana’s paddlefish season on the the lower Yellowstone river, biologists say they’re not seeing any negative impacts from an oil spill on that stretch of river in January.

A Wisconsin man was fined more than$2,000 Monday for accidently killing a grizzly bear in Northwest Montana.

Greater Sage Grouse
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (CC-BY-2)

Montana will spend about half-a-million dollars annually to assemble a team to oversee management of sage grouse. The bird is a candidate for listing as a threatened or endangered species.

U.S. Forest Service Northern Region

Montana fishing regulations are being re-written this year. And for anglers who want the rulebook to change, now is the time to speak up.

Every four years, Montana’s fishing regulations undergo a comprehensive review. This month, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is hosting statewide open houses to discuss regulations for the 2016-2019 fishing seasons.

Senate Committee Endorses Price Increase For Hunting, Fishing Licenses

Apr 17, 2015
U.S. Forest Service Northern Region

Today at the Montana Legislature, the Senate Finance and Claims Committee passed a bill to increase prices on hunting tags. House Bill 140 would increase fishing license prices by a few dollars, and would introduce a base license fee for any hunter of $8 for residents and $10 for nonresidents. Other special nonresident permit prices would also increase.

Legislative Roundup: Medicaid Expansion, State Budget Advance

Apr 12, 2015
From left, House Speaker Austin Knudsen, R-Culbertson, Rep. Jeff Essmann, R-Billings, and Minority Leader Chuck Hunter, D-Helena, debate rules on the House floor April 8.
Michael Wright - UM Community News Service

After wrangling over rules, the last remaining bill to expand Medicaid at the 64th Montana Legislature appears to be headed to the governor’s desk.

National Science Foundation - National Teacher Enhancement Network

Kurt Alt worked as a wildlife biologist for the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department of the State of Montana from 1975 till his retirement in 2010. As Wildlife Manager for Southwest Montana, Alt supervised work in the Gallatin and Madison drainages of southwest Montana, collecting and analyzing data on moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk, deer, mountain lions, bears, antelope, and many other native species of the area.

Swans at Freezeout Lake Wildlife Management Area
Montana FWP

Some state lawmakers want to call a halt to any new purchases of wildlife habitat by the state’s Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. It’s a debate about priorities, but some people say it’s also a case of political payback.

Flickr User Ian Sane CC-BY-2.0

Last week, a citizen’s advisory group to Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks started fundraising to produce an education campaign in direct response to controversial "crowd-shooting" incidents last November.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks released their latest wolf count on Thursday. Fewer wolf deaths were reported in Montana in 2014 than in the previous year, but the population is trending downward.

Public Domain

Two mass elk shootings in November and December that angered many in Montana have prompted a hunting group to launch an ethical hunting campaign.

Mike England is with the Bozeman-based Citizens’ Advisory Committee, a public group that gives feedback to Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks. His says the irresponsible behavior of the hunters who surrounded and shot into elk herds last last year near Helena motivated his group to move from advice to action.

Ranchers who lose livestock to mountain lion attacks would get compensation from the state of Montana under a bill the Senate approved Friday. The state already pays ranchers who lose animals to wolves and grizzly bears. Hamilton Republican Pat Connell says mountain lions are a scourge for Montana’s ranchers.

The security detail at the White House aren’t the only people worrying about encounters with small aerial drones. Some of Montana’s sportsmen want limits placed on the popular flying machines.

Todd Eames from Billings says he and his brothers were fishing when he realized that someone, possibly from a nearby ranch, was watching him.

News Roundup, Week 4 At The Montana Legislature

Feb 2, 2015
William Marcus

In the middle of the fourth week of the 64th Montana Legislature, Gov. Steve Bullock took the rostrum in the House of Representatives with a big smile.

“The state of our state is strong,” Bullock said, beginning his State of the State address.

Bullock touted his fiscal discipline and pushed his big legislative priorities, getting multiple standing ovations from Democrats and occasional claps from a few Republicans.

Josh Burnham (CC-BY-2.0)

Regional sheep producers are concerned that fears about their herds transmitting disease to wild bighorn sheep might jeopardize their livelihood.

Last spring, the Forest Service banned domestic sheep grazing on about 70 percent of the Payette National Forest in West Central Idaho to prevent domestic sheep from infecting bighorns.

"We feel it's just a way for environmental groups to try to try and remove livestock from public grounds."

Pallid sturgeon
USFWS Midwest (CC-BY-2.0)

It could be weeks, if not months before scientists understand the implications of last week's oil spill on aquatic life in the Yellowstone River. There have been no reported fish kills at this point.

"That's not to say there isn't some, but the real impact is that we're going to need to evaluate is going to be the chronic mortalities, the delayed mortalities, the long-term fish health concerns and also reproduction concerns once the fish are spawning in the spring."

A “crowd-shooting” incident on the east side of Canyon Ferry Reservoir last weekend has opened a discussion about hunter ethics; specifically, when is it OK to shoot a game animal?

Justin Feddes says the shooting in the White's Gulch area outside Helena started at first light last Sunday morning.

"If I had to guess, I'd say probably around 30 elk were killed. Probably 18 - 20 bulls, the rest were probably cows. We had two wounded," said Feddes.

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