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(1) The application for a scientific collectors permit must contain the following:

(a) name, address, phone number, affiliation and qualifications of the applicant as well as any associates who will be involved in making collections;

(b) description of supervision provided by the applicant to any associates included on the application;

(c) description of why the collection is necessary, including why collection by angling is not possible within the creel limits by licensed anglers during the regular angling season;

(d) description of the study plan;

(e) description of the collection gear and method or methods of collection;

(f) anticipated species collected, approximate number, location and time frame for collection, and disposition of collected specimens (return to waterbody, preserve for scientific purposes, dispose of in a sanitary manner) ;

(g) special precautions taken to protect threatened and endangered species and species of special concern; and

(h) $50 application fee, except for those exempt under 87-2-806(5) , MCA.

(2) The following are conditions of permits issued:

(a) permits are not transferable;

(b) permits must be in the permittee's possession during collection;

(c) any violation of the conditions of a collectors permit may result in revocation of the permit and repeated violations may result in denial of future permit applications;

(d) all permits issued within a calendar year will expire on December 31;

(e) an annual report describing the results must be submitted to the department no later than March 1 of the following year. The report shall include copies of fish and related habitat field data. A new permit will not be issued until the report from the previous year's work has been submitted and accepted;

(f) data collected during the term of the permit must be compatible with the data fields and structures used in the Montana rivers information system (MRIS) . The MRIS environmental protection agency river reach numbering system will be used as the stream reach identifier and stream reach breaks will be made

in adherence to this system unless variations are approved prior to data collection.  The permittee will be provided with all support documents by MRIS staff necessary to maintain this standardization.  Training in the MRIS edit/entry will be provided by MRIS staff.  This requirement may be waived under certain circumstances;

(g) the regional fish manager must be notified prior to the sampling of any waters in that region.  The permittee and associates may be subject to spot checks to determine suitability of collection methods and gear;

(h) permittee shall follow the department's electrofishing guidelines; and

(i) the permittee is required to furnish their own electrofishing or other collection gear.

(3) Applications must be received 45 days prior to scheduled start of sampling.

(4) Under 87-2-806(3) , MCA, the department may deny a permit if:

(a) the applicant is not qualified to make the scientific investigation;

(b) the proposed collecting is not necessary for the proposed scientific investigation;

(c) the method of collecting is not appropriate;

(d) the proposed collecting may threaten the viability of the species; or

(e) there is no valid reason or need for the proposed scientific investigation.

(5) The department may place special authorizations or special requirements and limitations on any permit as necessary to protect the species to be collected, other species that may be affected, and their habitats, or to preserve the integrity of the scientific collection methods.

(6) Minimum qualifications are as follows:

(a) principal investigator or permittee must have a B.A. or B.S. plus five years experience or a M.S. in fish, wildlife or a related field.  Specific training in electrofishing methods is required if it is one of the collection methods proposed in the application; and

(b) students or associates under the supervision of the principal investigator must have specific training in the collection methods proposed in the application.

(7) All of the above provisions apply equally to all applicants whether they are governmental, university or private.

History: 87-1-201, MCA; IMP, 87-2-806, MCA; NEW, 1996 MAR p. 2171, Eff. 4/26/96.

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