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New Hunting and Fishing Opportunities


Hunting at Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge in Kansas. Photo by USFWS.


Overview

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes expanding hunting and fishing opportunities on several national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries for the 2019-2020 hunting and fishing season. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service accepted public comments from May 23 to June 21, 2019.


For minor changes to existing hunting and fishing opportunities deemed by the Service not to be environmentally significant (individually or combined), we developed a categorical exclusion (CE). Details on the CE for each applicable national wildlife refuge are listed by state in the documents below.


For new or significant expansion(s) of existing hunting and fishing opportunities, we prepared a draft environmental assessment (EA). Details on the proposed alternatives in the draft EA that were open to public comments for each applicable national wildlife refuge and national fish hatchery are listed by state in the documents below.


To learn more and get involved, please explore the specific information provided for each national wildlife refuge and/or national fish hatchery of interest. You may also contact refuge or hatchery staff for further information about a CE, or to share your comments about a draft EA.


For general questions about hunting and fishing opportunities, please contact: Bernardo Garza, Regional NEPA Coordinator, 303-236-4377, bernardo_garza@fws.gov



Timeline and Next Steps

Following the public comment period, the Service will analyze comments received, publish a final EA for each applicable refuge and hatchery, and make a final determination about the proposed hunting and/or fishing expansion.


The Service aims to make a decision regarding these hunting and fishing proposals in time for the 2019-2020 hunting and fishing season. Hunting and fishing opportunities are and will continue to be authorized and provided in accordance with Federal, State, and Tribal regulations and seasons (where applicable).



Sites by State

Colorado »


Hotchkiss National Fish Hatchery

Hotchkiss National Fish Hatchery proposes expanding recreational fishing opportunities by allowing anglers to access the North Fork of the Gunnison River via an identified access point and/or to bank fish along the shore bordering the hatchery. Public comments on this proposal were accepted from May 23 to June 21, 2019. For questions, contact Connie Young-Dubovsky, Fish Biologist, 303-236-4506.

Leadville National Fish Hatchery

Leadville National Fish Hatchery proposes expanding recreational fishing and hunting opportunities by allowing:

  • Anglers to access Rock Creek and its headwater tributaries and lakes from Rock Creek dam upstream into the Mount Massive Wilderness area;
  • Anglers with disabilities and youth groups to fish discharge sedimentation ponds through special use permits;
  • Hunters to access hatchery lands to hunt waterfowl, small game, and large game

Public comments on this proposal were accepted from May 23 to June 21, 2019. For questions, contact Connie Young-Dubovsky, Fish Biologist, 303-236-4506.

Kansas »


Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge

Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge proposes expanding current duck and goose hunting (dark and light geese, ducks, coots) and current webless bird hunting (snipe).

For additional information, please contact Brad Krohn, Project Leader at (308) 263-3000 or brad_krohn@fws.gov.

Montana »


Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) proposes opening the refuge to hunting for several additional bird species (tundra swans, sandhill cranes, coot); reopening recreational fishing opportunities on 2,499 acres; and extending fishing to year-round (fishing on the refuge currently occurs from November 15 through September 15 annually). Public comments on this proposal were accepted from May 23 to June 21, 2019. For questions, contact Sean Lofgren, Refuge Manager, at 406-789-2305 or medicinelake@fws.gov.

Nebraska »


Valentine National Wildlife Refuge

Valentine National Wildlife Refuge proposes extending the refuge’s coyote hunting season from September 1 through March 31 (currently the refuge’s coyote hunting season is November 13 through March 15). For additional information, please contact: Juancarlos Giese, Refuge Manager, at 402-376-3398 or Juancarlos_Giese@fws.gov.

North Dakota »


Valley City National Fish Hatchery

Valley City National Fish Hatchery proposes expanding recreational fishing opportunities by allowing anglers to access the Sheyenne River with watercraft to fish at an identified access point and bank fish along the shore bordering the hatchery, and facilitating angling at the Kids Pond. Public comments on this proposal were accepted from May 23 to June 21, 2019. For questions, contact Connie Young-Dubovsky, Fish Biologist, 303-236-4506.

Wyoming »


Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge proposes opening the refuge to waterfowl hunting. Public comments on this proposal were accepted from May 23 to June 21, 2019. For questions, contact Tara Wertz, Refuge Manager, at 970-723-8202 ext. 3 or tara_wertz@fws.gov.

Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge

Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge proposes opening the refuge to hunting for white-tailed deer and elk. Public comments on this proposal were accepted from May 23 to June 21, 2019. For questions, contact Tom Koerner, Project Leader, at 307-875-2187 ext. 16 or tom_koerner@fws.gov.


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: June 24, 2019
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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