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Montana Politics Gets Crazy Once Again

Sometimes I think they do this just to prove my point. Don Steinbeisser from over Sydney way has introduced four bills in the name of tournament fishermen (SB 13-16). The craziest of all is a bill to make Walleye a native fish species by legislative fiat (SB 15). Since there is absolutely no scientific proof that Walleye are native to Montana I guess they have to get their way through political finagling. The other three bills are aimed at getting more funding for the Fort Peck warmwater hatchery. When the hatchery was proposed, the Walleyers claimed that if they could just get folks to buy a warmwater stamp on their licenses that would be more than enough to fund the hatchery and they wouldn’t need any federal or snotnative1tate funds. Well, turns out, the boondoggle in Fort Peck is the most expensive hatchery in the state, people are not buying the stamp and now they are crying that they need more money. If only they could lay their hands on some of that juicy Federal money their problems would be solved. What they don’t tell you is their proposals would take money away from actual projects that really need the money as well as from every other legitimate hatchery in the state. SB16 is just a straight, out-and-out deceptive tactic. It would make the warmwater stamp (which you now have to request if you fish for those species) opt-out rather than opt-in as it is now. You would pay the fee unless you specifically tell the seller that you don’t want the stamp. They are counting on not many people knowing that they have the option.  Call or write your legislators today and stop these wasteful and unneeded bills.



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