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Trap-release workshop upcoming

Footloose Montana is presenting a trap-release workshop at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, at Montana Wild, 2668 Broadwater Ave. Learn how to recognize and avoid traps, trapping regulations, first aid, hands-on practice opening traps and what to carry with you to rescue your pet. Free and open to the public. For information, call 406-282-1482.

Fly tying class for kids

Join us at Montana Wild from 3-4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 14, for a fly tying class. Children can learn to tie their very own flies to take out on their next fishing trip. All the necessary equipment will be provided. Participants must be at least 8 years old. Pre-registration is required, and space is limited.

For information or to register, contact Montana Wild at 406-444-9944. Montana Wild is located at 2668 Broadwater Ave.

Ice fishing tournament, workshops planned

West Yellowstone, Montana will host a North American Ice Fishing Circuit National Qualifier from Jan. 18-20. The qualifier – an ice fishing tournament – takes place on Sunday and is open to any two-person team. Teams range from locals to national level pro’s to teams just wanting to learn more about ice fishing. Teams can register up to 6 p.m. at the Saturday night reception and rules meeting.

The tournament is located on Hebgen Lake just outside of West Yellowstone. Kirkwood Resort & Marina is the location for the tournament starting point and Kid’s Ice Fishing Camp.

Throughout the two days preceding the tournament, there are many educational opportunities. These activities are free and open to the public.

For information on the NAIFC, tournament events, the Kids ICE CAMP, information about the West Yellowstone/Hebgen Lake lodging and activities for tournament, go to www.westyellowstonemticefishing.com. To enter an NAIFC qualifier go to www.naifc.com. For information on lodging and other winter activities, go to www.DestinationYellowstone.com or contact the West Yellowstone Visitor Center at 406-646-7701.

Comment period extended for fisheries program, guide

The Fisheries Division of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is extending the public comment period for the Statewide Fisheries Management Program and Guide to Feb. 4.

The draft Program and Guide was approved to release for public comment at the December Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting. Because of the length of the document and the high volume of material, there have been several requests from the public to extend the comment period to allow sufficient time for review prior to submitting comments.

The Fisheries Division expects to bring the Program and Guide to the April commission meeting for final approval.

The Program and Guide describes how programs within the Fisheries Division function and broadly outlines how fisheries are managed across Montana. To view the Program and Guide and to comment, go to the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov.

FWP closes on three conservation easements

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks finalized three significant conservation easements in the Habitat Montana program that will protect more than 18,000 acres and provide 970 hunter days a year.

All three easements focused on protecting high-valued wildlife habitat and providing public access – key components of FWP’s Habitat Montana program.

The White Deer Meadows Conservation Easement north of Bozeman in the Bridger Foothills will protect 405 acres of critical deer winter range and open up 170 hunter-days per year.

The North Sunday Creek Conservation Easement in Custer and Rosebud counties will protect 14,301 acres of sagebrush and grasslands important for sage-grouse, mule deer and pronghorn. The easement also opens up 400 hunter-days per year.

The Birdtail Conservation Easement in Cascade County will protect 3,980 acres of year-round foothill habitat for elk, mule deer and native gamebirds as well as guaranteeing access to 400 hunter-days per year.

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