Montana Hopes to Limit Illegal Fish Stocking

By Beacon Staff

State officials are considering a plan aimed at stopping the illegal stocking of fish into public waters.

The Great Falls Tribune reports that Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has created a draft rule outlining how officials will respond to an unauthorized placement of fish in streams or lakes.

The proposed rule would have the agency launching an investigation within 30 days of a discovery of the fish.

The agency would also develop a plan to remove the fish or suppress them, including using nets, electrofishing and chemicals.

Recent illegal stockings include northern pike in the Upper Missouri River near Toston and walleye in Noxon Rapids Reservoir in northwestern Montana.

The agency plans to hold public hearings around the state, and is taking written comments until March 21.