Hundreds of pages have been prepared for the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks draft statewide fisheries management plan, which goes out for public comment Monday, September 10 until October 12.


The department will also discuss the plan at the FWP Region 2 office in Missoula Tuesday, September 11. That is the closest meeting to the Bitterroot Valley in the series of statewide meetings during the month.

The draft plan is a long-term plan that officials are calling a "Road map" to provide specific direction and goals, but is still flexible for changing circumstances.

The Bitterroot River section of the plan is covered in pages 149 to 154, and is available at the FWP website. Basically, the plan maintains regulations already in place on the waterway, which includes yearlong closure on angling for Bull Trout and maintain catch-and-release for Rainbow Trout, with study of whirling disease continuing. There are changes possible for Westslope cutthroat trout.

The meeting in Missoula Tuesday will be an information-sharing session from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The draft plan has been presented to the FWP Commission. A final plan, including public comment and an environmental analysis, should be released by the end of the year.