87-3-235. Fort Peck multispecies fish hatchery established. (1) There is a multispecies fish hatchery near Fort Peck dam. The purpose of the hatchery is to provide healthy warm water game fish to improve the warm water fishing opportunities in Montana with minimal impact on cold water fish populations. Administration of the hatchery must be by the department, consistent with the department's authority provided for in 87-3-201.
(2) The multispecies hatchery is intended to use 96 acres of rearing ponds to produce warm water species. The hatchery is to employ land available through long-term lease from the U.S. army corps of engineers. Electric power for the hatchery may be purchased from Fort Peck dam at the lowest available rate.
(3) Propagation of warm water species, including but not limited to largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieui), walleye (Sander vitreus), sauger (Sander canadensis), black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus), white crappie (Pomoxis annularis), channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), yellow perch (Perca flavescens), northern pike (Esox lucius), pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus), paddlefish (Polyodon spathula), tiger muskellunge, other warm water species classified as species of special concern, threatened, or endangered, and bait fish, including cisco (Coregonus artedii), must be given priority over the propagation of any cold water species at the hatchery. To the greatest extent possible, the department shall maximize the production of warm water species at the hatchery. The propagation of cold water species may not displace or reduce the propagation of warm water species at the hatchery.
(4) Costs for hatchery operation, maintenance, and personnel are to be funded with revenue in the general license account or any federal funding available to the department.