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12.7.1501    GENERAL PURPOSE

(1) As determined by the department, these rules pertain to the department's response to the detection of a species of fish in public waters where the department has not authorized the presence of that species. These rules are intended to cover all placement of unauthorized species into the public waters, including from outside or inside the state through introduction or transplantation. Unauthorized species refers to any live fish found in public waters without authorization by the department.

(2) Unauthorized fish in public waters is of significant concern and is likely to have many adverse impacts, including but not limited to:

(a) adverse impacts on native, wild and stocked fish populations;

(b) potential to spread disease;

(c) degradation of water quality;

(d) degradation of aquatic habitat;

(e) increased fishery management costs;

(f) loss of angling opportunities and quality; and

(g) harm to local and regional tourism economies.

(3) The department and commission shall make prevention of and response to unauthorized species a priority.

(4) During efforts to respond to unauthorized species, the department will endeavor to protect the previously existing fishery and suppress or eradicate the unauthorized species to maintain the existing management objectives for that fishery.

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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