Hard-core kokanee salmon anglers who fish Georgetown Lake celebrated after a vote Tuesday by the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission to reinstate 2021 regulations that set no daily or possession limit for the fish.
Two of those ice-fishing kokanee connoisseurs, Lon Dale and Ben Krakowa, were among those who protested vigorously when the regulations changed. In October, the Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted a daily limit for kokanee of 20 fish and a 40 fish in possession limit. The new regulations took effect March 1.
For many anglers on Georgetown Lake, especially those targeting trout and not kokanee, the new limit stood to have little impact. But anglers like Dale, Krakowa and Peter Dayton specialize in kokanee fishing, which they say requires specific strategies. Kokanee devotees say the small, land-locked salmon can be delicious after smoking and other preparation.
During the commission meeting Tuesday, Fish, Wildlife and Parks acknowledged the agency erred by not communicating more effectively with stakeholders like Dale, Krakowa and Dayton and members of the Anaconda Sportsmen’s Club before changing the regulations.
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Chris Marchion, a member of the sportsmen’s club and a board member