FWP recently approved $74,000 in funding for six projects to improve family, youth, and ADA angling near Montana communities. The approved projects, funded through the Community Pond Program, are located at Baker Lake, Columbia Falls River’s Edge Park, Eureka Fairgrounds Fish Pond, Home Run Pond (Glasgow), Lake Elmo (Billings), and Lake Sheloole (Shelby).

A community pond is not just another fishing hole. They are cornerstones of local cities and towns across Montana - a place for families to gather, kids to learn to fish, and people with disabilities to cast a line. The improvements at community ponds are not simply docks and signs, they represent more kids holding fishing poles, more pictures of smiles and fish, and more quality time for families.

This year, the grants will fund a handicap accessible fishing dock at Baker Lake, an educational kiosk at River’s Edge Park, a new pond liner at Eureka Fairgrounds Fish Pond, repairs to an ADA compliant fishing pier at Home Run Pond, installation of habitat and access structures at Lake Elmo, and a floating dock at Lake Sheloole.

The projects are expected to improve opportunity for anglers and provide additional educational opportunities. This year’s funding was matched by approximately $120,000 in outside sources. These improvements are intended to foster the outdoor quality of life for future generations and perpetuate the FWP values of serving the public and honoring traditions like youth and family angling.

Applications for the Community Pond Program are due Feb. 1 of each year to FWP’s Fisheries Division. Application forms are available on FWP’s website and from FWP regional offices or the headquarters in Helena.

Any individual or group with a project designed to enhance angling at a community pond may apply for Community Pond funding. Projects that address youth, family, education, or ADA accessibility are preferred. Applicants are encouraged to work with local FWP fisheries biologists, and public access is mandatory.

More information and applications are available on FWP’s website at fwp.mt.gov. Select the Fish & Wildlife tab, under Habitat, choose Fish then scroll down to find the link to learn more about the Community Pond Program.

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