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(1) Catchable-size trout may be planted in streams only where they will not cause substantial environmental damage or where planting will not reduce the pounds of game fish available for anglers. In general, they may be planted only in streams that do not have a thriving wild trout population.

(2) It is assumed some streams, for which population data is unavailable, have less than thriving trout populations. In such streams an annual plant of up to 1,000 catchable-size trout per 10 miles of stream will be considered not to cause substantial environmental damage. A plant of this magnitude may be continued if in the judgment of the regional fisheries manager:

(a) the stream has a less than thriving population; and

(b) catchable-size trout are needed.

(3) An established annual plant of 500 or fewer catchable-size trout may be continued until it is determined the plant causes environmental damage or the return to the creel is unsatisfactory.

(4) No catchable plants may be made in numbers exceeding those prescribed in (2) and (3) until the criteria in (1) have been established by fish population studies.

(5) To ensure maximum return, stream plants of catchablesize trout shall be made only between the end of spring high water and August 15 each year. Exceptions may be made for unforeseen conditions and for waters open the entire year.

History: Sec. 87-1-301 MCA; IMP, Sec. 87-3-202 MCA; NEW, Eff. 6/5/76.

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