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Ice Fishing (copy)

Bill Claassen keeps an eye on his poles while ice fishing at Holter Lake in January. FWP has approved ice fishing contests for 2018-19.

Presentation tonight on paddling Missouri Breaks

Join Jim Greene and Martha Vogt for a presentation on paddling the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument. They will be discussing the history, politics and aesthetics of one of Montana's last best places.

The program will take place at 7 p.m. tonight, Oct. 4, at Montana Wild, 2668 Broadwater Ave.

The program is sponsored by the Helena Outdoor Club and is free and open to the public.

South Fork Quartz Creek Re-Opened to Public Use; Firewood Available

Beginning immediately South Fork Quartz Creek road, just south of Helena, will be reopened to the public. This area was closed for safety purposes while contractors worked to fell and deck numerous hazard trees along the roadway. As a result of the hazard trees, there is an abundance of firewood in the area. People with a valid, regular firewood permit are welcome to use this area for firewood collection.

Those interested in collecting firewood must first obtain a regular firewood permit from their local Forest Service office or one of the businesses listed below. Unlike the North Fork Quartz Creek area, the South Fork Quartz Creek area is not a free-use firewood location. All who plan to collect firewood from this area, must have a regular firewood permit. When people purchase a permit, they will also receive a pamphlet that outlines all of the firewood regulations associated with their permit.

The road to South Fork Quartz Creek is reported to be pretty rough and bumpy, so be sure to drive a high clearance vehicle, only. Due to a lack of safe turn-around spots, no trailers should be driven up to this location.

If you have any questions, contact the Helena Ranger District office at 449-5201.

Interpretive center announces fall programs, winter hours

The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center has announced its seasonal changes for fall programs and winter hours.

Beginning Oct. 1, the LCIC will operate within its winter hours, which means the LCIC is closed on Monday and open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. 

A Star Party is scheduled from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12. Join the Central Montana Astronomy Society to view the night sky through powerful telescopes and learn more about the celestial bodies visible that night. Be sure to dress for outdoor conditions, and remember that the event requires reasonably clear skies.

The fall season also brings the return of the Portage Route Chapter Speaker Series. Join our partners from the Portage Route Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation for a series of special speakers through the winter. The series kicks off at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16. Join presenter Dugan Coburn for his presentation, George Drouillard: The Indispensable Man. The son of a white father and a native mother, Drouillard served the Lewis and Clark expedition as interpreter, hunter and even diplomat with the native peoples the expedition encountered.

The Portage Route Chapter Speaker Series continues at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15. Join presenter Wayne Phillips for his program, Plants of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The Lewis and Clark expedition included a specific scientific mission – to catalog and identify species of plants and animals not known to science. Come and learn more about the myriad new plants first described by Meriwether Lewis.

For additional information on any upcoming event, call the Interpretive Center at 727-8733.

Ice fishing contests approved

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has approved the ice fishing contests for the 2018-19 season. Participants must comply with state fishing regulations, including daily and possession limits.

Applications for fishing contests may be approved, approved with conditions, or denied by the FWP Fisheries Division in Helena. Conditions placed on contests may help to minimize fish mortality, regulate harvest, reduce user conflicts and/or require additional access-site maintenance when needed.

Information on the approved fishing contests can be found on the FWP Fishing Contest webpage, http://fwp.mt.gov/fish/whereToFish/contests/, or by calling 444-2449.

Approved 2018-19 Ice Fishing Contests

Northwest Montana, Region 1

  • Dec. 15 Perch Assault – Smith Lake
  • Dec. 29 Sunriser Lions Family Fishing Derby - Smith Lake
  • Jan. 12 Wild West Panfish Trail – Smith Lake
  • Jan. 19 Tobacco Valley Rod & Gun Sophie Lake Derby – Sophie Lake
  • Jan. 19-20 Bull Lake Ice Fishing Derby - Bull Lake
  • Jan. 26-27 Fisher River Valley Fire/Rescue Winter Fishing Derby - Thompson Chain of Lakes
  • Feb. 1-23 Perch Pounder - All Region 1 Lakes
  • Feb. 2 Perch Assault – Middle/Lower Thompson Lakes
  • Feb. 9 Ryan Wagner Memorial Ice Fishing Derby - Murphy Lake
  • Feb. 9-10 The Lodge at McGregor Lake – McGregor Lake
  • Feb. 16 Snappy's Lake Mary Ronan Perch and Salmon Derby - Lake Mary Ronan
  • Feb. 23 Canyon Kids Christmas Fund Fishing Derby - Lion Lake
  • Feb. 24 Wild West Panfish Trail – Upper Thompson Lake
  • Mar. 2 Perch Assault – Lake Mary Ronan
  • Mar. 9-10 Tobacco Valley Rod & Gun Rainbow Derby – Lake Koocanusa

Southwest Montana, Region 3

  • Jan. 20 Hebgen Lake NAIFC Qualifier - Hebgen Lake
  • Jan. 26 Stan Shafer Memorial Ice Fishing Derby - Clark Canyon Reservoir
  • North Central Montana, Region 4
  • Jan. 12 Valier Area Development Ice Fishing Derby - Lake Frances
  • Jan. 19 Western Bar Willow Creek Fishing Derby - Willow Creek Reservoir
  • Jan. 19-20 Central Montana Perch Derby – East Fork Reservoir
  • Jan. 26 Ackley Lake Club Ice Fishing Derby – Ackley Lake
  • Jan. 26-27 Broadwater Lions Perch Derby - Canyon Ferry

Northeast Montana, Region 6

  • Jan. 26 Annual Chamber Ice Fishing Derby – Fort Peck Dredge Cuts
  • Jan. 26 Ice Classics - Nelson Reservoir
  • Jan. 26-27 Arctic Games – Fresno Reservoir
  • Feb. 9 Hell Creek Marina Ice Fishing Tournament - Fork Peck Reservoir - Hell Creek Bay
  • Feb. 22-24 44 Hours of Fort Peck – Fork Peck Reservoir

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