Was down in Ennis today at a FOAM meeting to discuss the impending beginning of a proposed River Recreation Management Plan. Overall a good meeting to get everyone kind of headed in the same direction. I had a lot of thoughts along the way, but one thing that I really liked to hear was that apparently there are a lot of other folks that have similar sentiments regarding Region 3 FWP. I always thought I was the only one that didn't think they were very good at their job...ahh the joys of feeling a part of something!
SO, that got me thinking about some things I may or may not have thought or said about them over the years. Well, if you search FWP on my blog, there is plenty to keep you bus for a night or two. Anyway, there will be more from me on this...but here's a little rant that I went on in 2008 about our state's beloved F&G agency. I think I'd be through the alphabet and on to Roman Numerals if I started adding where I left off.
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks is still on my not favorite list. If you don't know, here's a quick rundown of my bad experiences over the years. You can get details by asking me if you want more. A) 2000 - I had to pay in excess of $5000 to sell fishing licenses. B) FWP Employee told one of competitors about some company secrets, thus ruining any competitive advantage and my relationship with that competitor. C) Established a ludicrous use management protocal on the Beaverhead in Big Hole that seems to have derived from a Butte 3rd grade class getting wild with a pin the tail on the donkey game. D) Decided non-resident can't fish from a boat on certain days on the previous rivers, even though they pay more for a license to fish than residents. E) If they do patrol for fishing violations I don't see them (out of 300 + days on the water the last 2 years I have not seen a warden check an angler) (AMMENDED 12/07/11 to say that I have seen folks get checked a few times a year in '09 and '10, once in '11). F) Management of rivers is largley based on perception and not facts. G) There seems to be an overall misunderstanding of trout biology and evolution...I think that they use a resource guide from Alabama's trout management guide. H)The whole shooting incident with my employees and outfitters form Ennis - apparently if you poach, shoot at deer withbirdshot in the middle of the river, don't wear orange, and get caught...you only get a $50 fine I) They take water temperatures in the hottest part of the streambed...the part where fish don't live...3 inch puddles with no current or shade J) Apparenlty the lower Madison is too far a drive for an easy bust of violators K) $100 access fees imposed in 2007 have yielded absolutley nothing...we pay more (which we should) but get nothing out of it L)New for 2008 is senior citizens get free licenses, they've always been glad to pay the $8 before and contribute to the "management" of the resource( repealed and the folks are back to being happy to pay their minimal fee) K) New for 2008 is theMadison River Use Fee...apparently BLM has jurisdiction over our use on rivers which is supposedly public domain ) once below the high-water mark...so much for that whole stream access law, plus the revenue generated (70-90 grand) is going to be used to fund 2 new positions to administer the program (what great minds we have in charge of this process!) Anyway, I'm sure there's more to come aboutFWP. My negative experiences aside, the employees of the agency are good, hard-working people. The policies and rules that come out just baffle me sometimes because I know these folks have better ideas than what we see.