Trout Improvement Projects Underway in Montana

Trout Improvement Projects Underway in Montana

HELENA – Brown trout and westslope cutthroat trout habitat will be improved and angler opportunities will increase near Anaconda when Fifer Gulch is reconnected to Warm Springs Creek. A landowner will repair riparian fence and water gaps on Marshall Creek, which has been protecting quality westslope cutthroat trout habitat near Missoula. These projects are two of 19 that recently received funding by the Fish and Wildlife Commission through the Future Fisheries Improvement Program (FFIP). In all, more than $1.1 million in funding was approved to improve Montana fisheries.

The fisheries improvements include restoration of streams to a natural condition, installing riparian fencing, improving lake habitat, restoring streambanks, improving fish passage through culvert replacement, creating spawning habitat, keeping fish out of irrigation diversions, leasing water for instream use and more. Projects will help both native and non-native fish, including Arctic grayling, bull trout, mountain whitefish, westslope cutthroat trout, Yellowstone cutthroat trout, brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, largemouth bass and bluegill.

This year’s funding was matched by $6.5 million from outside sources. Landowners, watershed organizations, county governments, federal agencies and nonprofits submitted a total of 21 proposed projects. Nineteen projects were approved across Montana, including nine that are west and 10 that are east of the Continental Divide.

Applications for the FFIP summer-cycle grants are due May 15 to FWP’s Fish Habitat Bureau. Application forms are available on FWP’s website, or at FWP offices.