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Entries in Montana FWP (58)


Bison management plan meetings set

Dennis Bragg photo(BOZEMAN)- The latest effort to adjust plans for how wild bison are managed around Yellowstone National Park is being released, with interested ranchers, conservation groups and the general public being invited to view the details next week. 

The new draft plan is designed to replace the Interagency Bison Management Plan, which has been in place since 2011. Wildlife managers say the new plan is being written around the latest science and research, and what has been learned about the herd's migration in and out of the park the past several seasons. 

This plan, being developed by the National Park Service and the State of Montana uses six different alternatives that were outlined in recent public "scoping" efforts. 

The three meetings will give people a chance to review the initial work, with an open house where questions can be directed to NPS and FWP officials. 

The meetings will be held in Bozeman on June 2nd at the Hilton Garden Inn, June 3rd at the Gardiner School and June 4th at the Holiday Inn in West Yellowstone. 

The new plan could be finalized in 2017. 


Sheep deaths prompt hunting closure near Gardiner

(HELENA)- As biologists continue to struggle with the cause of a disease that's killing off sheep in the Northern Rockies, wildlife managers are closing hunting in one area near Gardiner to dave the remnants of one herd. 

The sheep pneumonia has been an increasing problem in the region over the past few seasons, killing hundreds of bighorns. Researchers are still trying to work out the exact reasons for the spread of the disease, and why some sheep are immune while others are not. 

The die-off has been particularly bad this season in hunting district 305 in Park County, where 30% of the herd and 40% of the mature rams have died around in the cliffs around Gardiner and Cinnabar since the outbreak started last year. This winter alone, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks agents have found more than 2-dozen dead sheep. 

Now, the FWP Commission has approved an emergency closure of the 2015 hunting season in that district to protect the remainder of the herd. The plan would be to re-open hunting when the sheep population recovers. 

Hunters who had already applied will be given a chance to apply elsewhere in the state, or given a refund. Last year about 100-hunters had applied for the single permit that was granted for the 2015 season.


FWP investigating grizzly shooting

(THOMPSON FALLS)- Wardens with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks are looking into the report of a grizzly being killed in an act of self defense near Thompson Falls over the weekend. 

FWP reports the shooting happened Sunday in the Lower Thompson River area in Sanders County. The male grizzly was killed by a person who immediately reported the shooting to authorities. The case remains under investigation. 

Grizzlies are a protected species and shooting one can result in charges, although some exceptions are made in cases of self-defense and safety, depending on the circumstances. 


Alberton Gorge closes to float traffic as derailment cleanup continues

Photo by Jen Johnson via KPAX TV(SUPERIOR)- State officials have closed the popular Alberton Gorge on the Lower Clark Fork River to float traffic to prevent conflicts with cleanup of a train derailment. 

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks had closed that section of the river after 19-cars from a Montana Rail Link train derailed near Superior. The crash sent three cars with Boeing airplane components headed for Seattle into the river, including partial aircraft fuselages. There are concerns about floaters getting in the way of cleanup efforts. 

The derailment is near Fish Creek Road, so the river remains closed, including the FWP access points at St. John's, Cyr Bridge, Triple Bridge, Ralph's Takeout and Tarkio. The river is expected to remain closed until the cleanup is finished. 


High water forcing some fishing access to close 

The Bitterroot is among the rivers starting to flood with the warmer weather(MISSOULA)- High water getting into roads and parking areas is forcing Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to close, or restrict access to several popular fishing access areas on the Blackfoot and Bitterroot rivers. 

Although the rivers are still below their actual flood stages, some water has started to get over the banks and into the boat launches and parking areas. And more flooding is possible later this week as temperatures warm back up. 

FWP announced this afternoon access areas on the Bitterroot with restrictions and closures include Darby Bridge, Woodside Bridge, Bell Crossing, lower portions of the Florence Bridge and the campground portion of Hannon Memorial. 

Because of the safety closure at Woodside, Angler's Roost is the last takeout spot on the upper Bitterroot. Demmons FAS is available for carry-in boats. Blodgett Park, Veteran's Bridge and other sites not managed by FWP may also be closed because of the high water. 

On the Blackfoot, FWP has imposed a partial closure at the Harry Morgan fishing access site. The boat ramp and campground are closed but people can use the upper parking area and still walk down the river.