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FWP announces two fishing regulation open houses in Region 4


August 16, 2019

From Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will host two open houses in Region 4 this month to take public comments on proposed fishing regulations.

The first open house will take place 7 p.m., Aug. 20, at the FWP R4 headquarters, 4600 Giant Springs Road in Great Falls. The second will occur 7 p.m., Aug. 22, at the Lewistown Public Library, 701 W. Main St.

The meetings are part of a statewide effort to take public comments on proposed fishing regulations that would start March 1, 2020.

Among the proposals for Region 4, north-central Montana, are:

• Change the walleye limit in the Missouri River from Holter Dam to Cascade Bridge from no limit to 20 daily and 40 in possession. The change would be similar to the current walleye regulation for Canyon Ferry Reservoir.

• Allow spearing for northern pike through the ice in Canyon Ferry Reservoir. Currently spearing is not allowed.

• Seasonally closing certain Smith River tributaries to fishing to protect spawning trout. Parts of Sheep, Rock, Tenderfoot, and Hound creeks would be open the third Saturday in May to Nov. 30.

• Change the tiger muskie limit in Ackley Lake from one daily and in possession and must be over 40 inches to two daily and four in possession and must be over 36 inches.

• Allow anglers to catch and keep trout caught in Big Spring Creek and the East Fork of Big Spring Creek near Lewistown. Currently the regulation is catch and release only. Anglers would be allowed to keep the amount of trout allowed for the Central Fishing District.

• Reduce the possession number of catfish in the Central Fishing District from 20 to 10, which is also the daily limit. Also, it’s proposed to remove the exceptions to the Central Fishing District rules for sauger/walleye and catfish in the Musselshell River.

Fishing regulations undergo a thorough review every four years. Last spring, FWP conducted an online survey that contained ideas and proposals that the department was considering for regulation changes. FWP staff also met with angling and recreational groups across the state to discuss fishing regulations. Many of the regulations that were considered last spring have been modified for the tentative regulation proposals based on public remarks from the online survey and meetings.

The department is asking for public comment on the tentative fishing regulations. Input can be submitted via email at [email protected]; or via mail to Fishing Regulations, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620; or through a survey link, which will be available on the FWP website starting Monday, Aug. 19. FWP will accept public comment through Sept. 15, and the online survey will also be active through Sept. 15.

Statewide open house schedule:

Aug. 20

Great Falls

FWP Regional Office, 4600 Giant Springs Rd.

7 p.m.

Thompson Falls

FWP Office, 5427 Highway 200

4-7 p.m.

Aug. 21


Busted Knuckle Brewery, N. Room, 303 1st Ave. S.

6:30-8:30 p.m.


FWP Regional Office, 490 N Meridian Rd.

6:30-8:30 p.m.

Aug. 22


Best Western Plus, 1425 Highway 2 N.W.

6:30-8:30 p.m.


City Hall Ponderosa Room, 952 E. Spruce

4–6 p.m.


Lewistown Public Library, 701 W. Main St.

7 p.m.

Aug. 26


FWP Regional Office, 1400 S. 19th Ave

6 p.m.

Aug. 27


Dawson Community College, Ulman Center Room 102

7 p.m.

Aug. 28


Big Horn Resort and Hotel, 1801 Majestic Ln.

6:30 p.m.

Aug. 29




Comfort Inn, 2777 Harrison Ave.

6 p.m.


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