Tribes Moving Forward with Fisheries Management Study for Flathead Lake

By Beacon Staff

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has started gathering information for an environmental impact statement for proposed fisheries management in Flathead Lake.

The study will focus on the environmental consequences of a proposal to reduce non-native lake trout in Flathead to benefit native fish populations in Flathead Basin. The range of alternatives being considered so far, according to the BIA’s notice of intent, includes taking no action and maintaining the status quo of lake trout harvest from general harvest and fishing contests; or reducing lake trout numbers to either 25 percent, 50 percent or 90 percent of 2010 population levels.

Proposed alternatives would use general harvest, fishing contests and targeted gill and trap netting to achieve reduction targets, according to the BIA. The proposed action would be implemented indefinitely into the future and be monitored every five years.

Public comment on the proposals is open until July 5. Send letters to Tom McDonald, Division Manager, Division of Fish, Wildlife, Recreation, and Conservation, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Natural Resources Department, P.O. Box 278, Pablo, MT, 59855, or fax to (406) 883-2848; or Rose Leach, NEPA Program Manager, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, same mailing address as above, fax (406) 676-2605.

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