Fish and Wildlife Commission seeking public comment on proposed new no-wake zones

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission is seeking public comment on new no-wake zones proposed on three different waterbodies.
Four petitions were submitted to the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission last fall. The commission voted to initiate the rule making process on the petitions. This process includes public hearings, which are being held in February. The commission is tentatively scheduled to make a final decision on the proposed rules at their regular April meeting.
A no wake zone is being proposed for the Madison River arm of Ennis Lake from the North Ennis Lake Bridge to the Madison Dam. The petition to the commission pointed out the popularity of this 1.3-mile section of the Madison, its narrowness, and the need to increase safety and prevent potential accidents.
Two petitions were received for Fort Peck. On the Bay of Park Grove, located in the Fort Peck Dredge Cuts, a no-wake zone approximately 75 feet from the shoreline is being proposed. The request was made to address safety concerns, shoreline damage, and disruption of both animal activity and non-motorized user activity.
A separate petition was received requesting to restrict Duck Creek Bay, located on Fort Peck Reservoir, to a limited no-wake zone from the boat ramp to the mouth of the bay. The request was made to address both safety concerns and property damage, as the area has a heavily used boat ramp and camping area.
A no wake zone is also being proposed on Flathead Lake in the Cromwell Channel at its narrowest section. The no wake zone, as proposed, would be approximately 800 feet long or as marked by buoys. The petition was brought to address safety concerns, shoreline erosion, user conflicts and property damage.
The public hearing on the no wake zone in Madison River arm of Ennis Lake will be Feb. 15 at FWP’s Region 3 headquarters in Bozeman, 1400 South 19th Avenue, at 6 p.m.
The public hearing on the Fort Peck no wake zones will be at 6 p.m. Feb. 16 at Fort Peck Multi-Species Fish Hatchery in Fort Peck.
The public hearing on the Flathead Lake no wake zones will be Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. at the FWP Region 1 headquarters, 490 North Meridian Road, in Kalispell.
The public hearing format consists of (in order): a brief overview on the topic, a question and answer period to address any questions about what is being proposed or the rulemaking process and time for public comment.
Public attendees at the hearing may submit their comments either orally or in writing at the hearing. Written comments may also be submitted to: Ron Howell, FWP Region 6 Office, 1 Airport Road, Glasgow, MT 59230, or e-mail rhowell@mt.gov. Comments must be received no later than Feb. 17.
For more information about the proposed no wake zones, contact Ron Aasheim, 444-4038.
FWP ensures that its meetings are fully accessible to persons with disabilities. To request special accommodations for the Fort Peck hearing, please contact (406) 228-3700.

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