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Trout Unlimited ups reward in illegal fish stocking cases

WHITEFISH, Mont. (AP) — Montana Trout Unlimited has doubled to $20,000 the reward it is offering for the apprehension and conviction of whoever is responsible for illegally stocking fish in three western Montana lakes and reservoirs.

The state Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks is investigating the illegal planting of walleyes in Swan Lake and Noxon Reservoir and smallmouth bass in Seeley Lake.

Montana TU chairman Chris Schustrom says the illegally planted fish threaten established and popular sport fish populations in each body of water. The group is urging FWP to treat illegal fish stocking as a serious wildlife crime and to step up its enforcement and investigation efforts.

FWP spokesman Ron Aasheim says the agency needs tips from the public and he hopes the increased reward encourages someone to come forward.

Lewistown’s Christmas Stroll Friday will be on the cold side, but there’s an opportunity to warm up at the American Legion Club.

Auxiliary President Gayle Doney  says during your visit you can enjoy chili and a hot dog, and an opportunity to purchase an auxiliary membership.

In time for Christmas giving, some important entertainment tickets go on sale during Friday’s Christmas Stroll.  Karen Kuhlmann has more on those two groups appearing in Lewistown this winter and next summer.

The Judith Mountain Players will stage a Christmas comedy mid-December.  Their Director Elizabeth Martell has more on this production to be presented in Lewistown and  Brooks Community Hall.

Tails As Old As Time, the organization that helps individuals adopt senior dogs, received an important letter recently. Nancy Fry Moline explains:

Friends of a stroke victim are holding a fundraiser this Saturday at Eagles Hall.  Brenda Willmont, Sherry Dengel, and Gail Sheridan are asking for your help for fellow nurse Leila Knox.

Communities are becoming more aware of designating special districts.  City Manager Kevin Myhre told the city commission a request has been received to discuss the possibility of establishing an art district.  

Finding things to see and do in Lewistown will be assisted with a city-sponsored signage program, with the public works department getting ready to place an order once the cost is confirmed.

The Lewistown City Commission approved to support a county plan relocating a bridge.  City Manager  Kevin Myhre told KXLO News:

In time for Christmas shopping Lewistown has a new jewelry shop, specializing in yogo sapphires and international pieces.  Lewistown Sports owner Dave Snyder with his wife informed the KXLO audience:

Christmas tree cutting is an opportunity to create a quality moment with loved ones that will paint cherished life-long memories.

Permits are available for $5 to anyone who wishes to harvest a Christmas tree on America’s public lands stewarded by the Bureau of Land Management. However, under the Every Kid in a Park Initiative fourth-graders who present a valid Fourth Grade Pass will receive a free permit.

 Permits are available during normal business hours at the BLM Field Offices in Glasgow, Havre, Lewistown and Malta.

An important date is fast approaching for Operation Christmas Child, a nation-wide program to fill a shoebox size container with gifts.  Pastor Lee Lantzer has more on this last minute effort for central Montana to participate.

The Lewistown City Commission spent over an hour Monday night discussing business license ordinaces for small business and direct sales representatives. The deeper the conversation went, the more questions surfaced.  City Manager Kevin Myhre and  Commissioners will continue that topic during the next scheduled meeting on Dec. 7th.

Gail Granot is on duty again this Christmas season to help provide gifts for children and senior citizens.  The Lewistown fundraiser starts with a visit to Butterfly Papercrafts where participants select information on a paper angel or Christmas tree.  Gail has more on what to expect and how to provide these special gifts.  

The Lewistown Police Department received reports Monday evening of unlocked vehicles being ransacked in the downtown area.