Tag Archives: Montana FWP

Dead grizzly reported in North Fork

Sounds like someone killed a grizzly bear somewhere up the Moran Creek drainage off Hay creek Road . . .

Montana Game Wardens and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Agents are seeking information on a grizzly bear that was shot and killed recently.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks received an initial report from a hunter on Nov. 12 that the dead bear was in the Hay/Moran Creek area in the North Fork of the Flathead Drainage.

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the conviction of the person responsible for killing this grizzly bear. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the USFWS at 406-761-2286; or 1-800-TIPMONT. Callers may remain anonymous.

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Montana FWP: Feds getting ready to delist grizzlies

More press about removing grizzlies from the endangered species list in the Northern Rockies . . .

The head of Montana’s wildlife agency said Thursday federal officials will seek to lift federal protections from some threatened grizzly bears in the Northern Rockies in the next two years.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks director Jeff Hagener told lawmakers he expects the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to propose rules that could remove two populations of grizzlies from the Endangered Species list.

One rule could lift protections for bears in and around Yellowstone Park in 2015, Hagener said. The other rule ending protections would be for grizzlies in the Northern Continental Divide region by 2016, he said.

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New FWP rules allow landowners to kill wolves

Landowners can now kill wolves without a license under certain circumstances . . .

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted new administrative rules for killing wolves that pose a threat to landowners’ safety on Thursday.

The rule change stemmed from a bill the Legislature passed in the 2013 session allowing landowners to kill wolves without first getting a license if they threaten human safety, livestock or dogs. But it also gave the agency a chance to clear up some confusing parts of the state administrative law book, according to FWP wildlife management section chief Quentin Kujala.

“It’s not the easiest thing to read,” Kujala said. “We took more than 1,300 public comments on this.”

The new rules also change the definition of a breeding pair of wolves – a crucial part of the federal oversight of sustainable wolf populations…

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Crunch time begins for deer and elk

Montana FWP talks about this critical time of the year for deer and elk populations . . .

Ladies and gentlemen, we are entering crunch time.

That time of the year when spring and winter play a tug of war, and depending on how it goes, deer and elk could be the losers.

Members of the deer family that go into winter in good shape have the energy reserves and body fat to survive those December and February subzero spells. But a long winter that continues through March and April will start to tip over the smallest and weakest.

And if we humans are not careful, we’ll cause some of the bigger animals to tip over.

Already some of our large game species could use a break. January was nice, with a handful of 50 degree days. But February plunged us back into winter, which after all is the season we’re in.

Now the real test for wildlife begins.

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States seeking to halt mule deer population decline

State agencies are trying to figure out what’s going on with mule deer populations over recent decades . . .

Wildlife management agencies, hunters and wildlife organizations have done a lot of research, habitat work and plain old head scratching in recent years over what is causing a decline in the number of mule deer across parts of the West.

A recent report by Western wildlife agencies found mule deer declining in four states, including Wyoming, and one Canadian province. Montana’s population was reported as stable, although certain regional populations have seen some dramatic declines.

“Certainly numbers are still down,” said Quentin Kujala, Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife management section chief, but whether that constitutes a downward trend or simply a temporary pause he could not say.

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Montana FWP seeking public comment on Coal Creek project

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wants comments on a “habitat enhancement” project for the south fork of Coal Creek. Here’s the write-up from the project web page:

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP), Region One, is seeking public comment for a draft environmental assessment (EA) for the South Fork of Coal Creek Habitat Enhancement Project. FWP proposes to implement a project to increase available spawning and rearing habitat for westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout by adding large, woody debris into an impaired section of the South Fork of Coal Creek in Flathead County.

The draft is out for a 21-day public review through 5:00 p.m., Friday, June 28, 2013. Contact person: FWP Fisheries Biologist Amber Steed, (406) 751-4541 or e-mail to asteed@mt.gov.

Supporting document: South Fork of Coal Creek Habitat Enhancement Project

Wilderness Walks Kickoff Party features talks by FWP biologists

The Local chapter of the Montana Wilderness Association is launching this year’s “Wilderness Walks” program with a get-together and presentation at the Split Rock Cafe in Kalispell at  5:30 p.m. on May 31 . . .

On Friday, May 31, the Flathead/Kootenai Chapter of the Montana Wilderness Association will present a Wilderness Walks Kickoff Party at the Split Rock Cafe in Kalispell.

The event will start with a social hour at 5:30 p.m., followed by a presentation from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists Tim Thier and Chris Hammond telling stories about native species in the Whitefish Range.

Thier and Hammond will give their presentation at 7 p.m. upstairs from the Split Rock Café in the KM Theater. The presentation will last about one hour.

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Montana FWP wants to extend wolf hunt and kill limit

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks is proposing a longer wolf hunt and higher kill limits for next season . . .

Montana wildlife commissioners may extend the hunting season for wolves and the number of predators that can be killed by a hunter or trapper.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks is proposing a rifle season from Sept. 15 to March 31. Last year, the season began Oct. 15 and ended Feb. 15, resulting in 128 wolves killed by rifle and bow hunters. Trappers took an additional 97 wolves, for a total of 225 predators killed. That is the highest number killed in Montana since federal protections for wolves were lifted for Idaho and Montana in 2011.

The agency also is proposing allowing hunters and trappers to take up to five wolves each, the Independent Record reported Wednesday.

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More aggressive aquatic invasive species program taking shape

Montana is getting ready to be much more aggressive in its fight against aquatic invasive species . . .

A revamped and more aggressive approach to prevent aquatic invasive species from proliferating in Montana has quietly been taking shape in Helena, but it soon will get a higher profile in the Legislature.

A draft bill has been the focus of a joint subcommittee on natural resources that would firmly establish Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks as the lead agency in a boat inspection program and provide additional funding to carry out the overall mission of combating invasive species such as zebra and quagga mussels as well as Eurasian watermilfoil. These species have wreaked expensive havoc in other states, most recently invading waters in the Southwest.

Mark Aagenes, conservation director for Montana Trout Unlimited, said the new approach came about as the result of meetings with a wide variety of conservation groups and state agencies. That led to proposals to Gov. Steve Bullock’s office and then to the subcommitee’s draft bill, Aagenes said.

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Montana FWP seeks public comment on Flathead River hybrid trout removal

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is seeking public comment on their current Flathead River Hybrid Trout Suppression Project . . .

As part of ongoing efforts to maintain populations of native westslope cutthroat trout, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is proposing to continue removing hybrid and rainbow trout from the Flathead River drainage.

The public has until March 8 to comment on the Flathead River hybrid trout suppression project’s environmental assessment draft, released earlier this month for a 30-day public review. The project could get underway a week later on March 15, according to an anticipated schedule.

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Related reading: Flathead River Hybrid Trout Suppression Project