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(1) The department's action plan for responding to a confirmed unauthorized species may include, as determined by the department, the following management actions for eradication or suppression:

(a) prohibit or discontinue stocking the water body if the presence of the unauthorized species reduces the effectiveness of the stocking effort;

(b) prohibit or discontinue stocking of any forage fish species that benefits the unauthorized species;

(c) modify angling regulations for the immediate and connected water bodies with unauthorized species including:

(i) liberalizing or removing daily angling limits;

(ii) enacting catch-and-release fishing;

(iii) extending or removing the angling season;

(iv) allowing capture methods other than hook and line;

(v) instituting mandatory catch-and-kill regulations; or

(vi) closing the water to all fishing.

(d) deny applications for fishing contests that target the unauthorized species, except in cases where the department determines the contest is an essential tool for suppression or eradication and requires that the contest has catch-and-kill rules;

(e) authorize commercial harvest or economic harvest incentives for the unauthorized species if statutory authority is provided and is prescribed by a management plan;

(f) implement physical control measures to reduce the population of unauthorized species, including:

(i) installation of fish barriers;

(ii) removal using chemical or mechanical methods;

(iii) netting spawning fish;

(iv) habitat manipulation (e.g., reservoir drawdown);

(v) removing illegal species when encountered incidental to other management or survey activities; or

(vi) disturbing spawning areas to reduce survival.

(g) implement angler harvest incentive programs.

History: 87-5-704, MCA; IMP, 87-5-701, 87-5-704, 87-5-713, 87-5-715, MCA; NEW, 2014 MAR p. 1592, Eff. 7/25/14.

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