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FWP: Stop putting zip ties into jaws of walleye

Posted at 1:44 PM, May 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-11 01:08:17-04

An issue that came to light last year in north-central Montana is once again a problem for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

FWP officials are asking the person (or persons) who is responsible for putting zip ties into the jaws of Missouri River walleye to stop.

The illegal practice was brought to the attention of game wardens a year ago.

Earlier this month, FWP fisheries biologists found two more walleyes with zip ties in their jaws, including one that had caused an open sore in the fish’s jaw.

The walleye were found in the Wolf Creek Bridge section of the Missouri River.

“We don’t put jaw tags in fish anymore because it causes damage,” said Jason Mullen, FWP Region 4 fisheries biologist. “Whoever is doing it should stop.”

Mullen added the practice confuses the public as it makes it seem FWP is putting plastic jaw tags out.

“We are not,” he said. “But some anglers might catch and keep a fish they normally wouldn’t, because they think we want the information or there is a reward or something.”

Video from 2018: