FORT PECK, Mont. (NMB) – The 10-year fisheries management plan for Fort Peck Reservoir will expire in 2022, prompting Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks to begin updating the plan for next 10 years. FWP is seeking anglers’ assistance with this plan, starting with an online survey.
This will be the fourth 10-year management plan for the popular reservoir. Each of these plans have been developed with regional and state-wide public involvement to establish clear management direction for the Fort Peck fishery.
The current management objective states that the fishery will be managed primarily as a walleye fishery while also setting goals to maintain a quality multi-species fishery.
The biologically-based components for fisheries management of the Fort Peck fishery include relative abundance targets for walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, sauger, lake trout, chinook salmon, shoreline forage, and pelagic forage (cisco). In addition, there are guidelines for fishing tournaments on Fort Peck.
During 2022, FWP is providing several opportunities to obtain public input for the plan. The first step is conducting an online user survey. Anglers interested in providing input are encouraged to visit the FWP website and look under the conservation fisheries-management tab. The home page for the plan can be found directly here: https://fwp.mt.gov/conservation/fisheries-management/fort-peck-reservoir
After the survey, there will be several other opportunities for anglers to contribute to the Fort Peck Plan, including public meetings, to ensure that everyone has a chance to comment.
Over the last decade, walleye populations and other gamefish species in Fort Peck Reservoir have been at or slightly above their long-term average. Favorable runoff from higher elevation snowpack and generally increasing reservoir water levels has resulted in very good habitat and forage conditions. These conditions have greatly benefited the sportfishery and have led to Fort Peck becoming a destination fishery for large walleye, lake trout, Chinook salmon and smallmouth bass.
Those interested in the planning process or that have any questions about the fishery are encouraged to call FWP in Glasgow at 406-228-3700.