Comment Period on Walleye Suppression Extended Following Public Outcry

By Beacon Staff

In response to heavy public outcry, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has extended the comment period for a proposal looking into the suppression of walleye in Noxon Reservoir.

The public comment period for FWP’s proposed “Investigation of Suppression of Walleye in Noxon Rapids Reservoir” has been extended for 21 days. Comments must now be received or postmarked by Friday, April 19. Comments can be submitted by email at this site.

“We received over 250 comments and a petition on the project,” FWP Region One Supervisor Jim Satterfield said in a statement. “We also received a number of requests for a comment period extension to review the technical background of the EA. Given the level of controversy surrounding this issue, I am extending the comment period.”

Satterfield urged interested persons who wish to send comments to read the draft environmental assessment.

Copies of the draft EA are also available at the FWP office at 490 N. Meridian Rd. in Kalispell; the FWP Field Office, 601 N. Columbia St. in Thompson Falls; Montana State Library, 1515 E. Sixth Ave., in Helena; FWP State Headquarters, 1420 E. Sixth Avenue, Helena; and the Thompson Falls Library, 911 Main Street, Thompson Falls.

Routine sampling of walleye in Noxon Reservoir will continue as in previous years, according to the agency. Captured fish will be tagged and released. FWP said the collected data will shed light on the status, distribution, age structure and health of the walleye population.

Walleye were first detected in the reservoir in 1991 during fisheries sampling. These fish are the result of several illegal introductions. In 2000, standardized annual monitoring was implemented to monitor trends in fish abundance and showed that walleye were naturally reproducing.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.