Proposal Would Restrict Paddlefish Snagging
The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is proposing that no paddlefish snagging be allowed in the recently built Intake bypass channel located near Glendive.
Montana FWP and Bureau of Reclamation fisheries biologists plan to monitor the channel to study fish usage and water flows for a period of eight years.
During this time period, FWP proposes that no snagging of paddlefish be allowed in the channel.
The project was created in order to have fish, including pallid sturgeon, go around Intake Dam and have fish access to more upriver habitat in hopes of improving spawning success. In the past, pallid sturgeon have attempted to migrate up the dam, but have been stopped by the rock field at the diversion dam.
The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider the proposal at its Feb. 22 meeting. Public comment can be made through Feb. 3. The first pallid sturgeon passed through the new bypass channel in early May of 2022.
The 2.1-mile-long channel was created as part of the Lower Yellowstone Intake Diversion Dam Fish Passage Project, a joint federal project between USACE and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The construction on the channel started in April 2019 and was completed on April 9, 2022.
The project also includes a replacement diversion dam to facilitate irrigation diversions to the Lower Yellowstone Project which was completed by USACE in 2021. In 1990, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act listed pallid sturgeons as endangered. To comment go online to https://fwp.mt.gov/ aboutfwp/commission/february- 2023-meeting.