cutthroat trout fish

An angler handles a Westslope Cutthroat trout in this file photo.

Larry Mayer, Billings Gazette

HELENA - The Montana Fish & Wildlife Commission recently approved more than $458,000 in funding for 14 projects to improve Montana fisheries.

The projects were submitted for the winter funding cycle of the Future Fisheries Improvement Program (FFIP) and are located across Montana; six are west of the Continental Divide and eight are east.

The projects aim to help Arctic grayling, bull trout, westslope cutthroat trout, brown trout, brook trout, rainbow trout and other native fish. Work includes stream channel restoration, riparian fencing, planting vegetation to stabilize stream banks, construction of barriers to protect cutthroat trout, replacing fords and undersized culverts to allow for fish movement, increasing flow to streams, relocating roads to reduce sediment delivery and removing mine waste to improve water quality.

FWP funding for these projects was matched by more than $3.8 million from outside sources. A total of 17 projects were submitted for funding from a variety of groups, including conservation districts, watershed groups and governmental agencies.

Applications for the FFIP summer-cycle grants are due by June 1 to FWP's Fisheries Habitat Bureau. Any individual or group with a project designed to restore or enhance habitat for wild or native fish may apply for FFIP funding. FWP encourages applicants to work with local FWP fisheries biologists. Landowners and other project partners usually share project costs, extending FFIP dollars.

More information and FFIP applications are available on FWP’s website at fwp.mt.gov. Visit the Fishing home page, and scroll down to find the link to the Future Fisheries Improvement Program in a blue information box. Applications are also available from FWP regional offices or headquarters in Helena.

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