State Wants Input on Plan to Limit Motorized Watercraft Use

Fish, Wildlife and Parks is gathering feedback; first meeting planned for Kalispell in January

HELENA — A series of public hearings will begin next week on a proposal to limit motorized watercraft use on nearly 50 western Montana river and stream segments.

The Independent Record reports that the proposal comes from the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers’ Quiet Waters. The group cites advancements of motorized technology for bringing the initiative forward.

Under the proposal, there would be several seasonal and horsepower restrictions on motorized watercraft use as well as the closure of several small tributaries.

Some of the proposed changes would affect the Yellowstone, Flathead, Stillwater, Missouri and Whitefish rivers.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is gathering feedback on the group’s plan during six public meetings in January, with the first held Tuesday in Kalispell.

  • I feel whatever restrictions they put into place won’t be enough. The mussels are here.

    • Dave_Skinner

      Not about mussels, Greg. Read more closely.

  • Orion

    “Under the proposal, there would be several seasonal and horsepower
    restrictions on motorized watercraft use as well as the closure of
    several small tributaries.” I did not read anything referring to the mussels in this proposal. Besides that, changing h.p. has nothing to do w/mussel invasion.

  • David Jenkins

    This has nothing to do with mussels and everything to do with a small group of elitists trying to impose their ideaology on the general population of Montana and how public resources should be utilized. So funny they would use Hunters and anglers in their name, but it is merely a disguise. This organization wants to radically restrict the use of all our public resorces as THEY see fit. Anglers, hunters, boaters please get involved and make your opinions known to FWP. Please get informed before it’s too late!!

  • Kyle Dennis

    I find this proposal to be extremely concerning and very biased towards a very small and specialized interest group.

    Shutting down all motorized boating and or limiting them to no wake zones as proposed on the Flathead River system will exclude the majority of fishermen and fisherwomen from utilizing these PUBLIC resources. This is a very special interest group trying to push their agenda on the general public so that resources are used according to their views/values and beliefs. I believe this is the beginning of trying to set a precedent for even more restrictions and regulations in the future.

    FWP here in Kalispell cannot even enforce some of the current restrictions already in place, such as the farce of a no wake zone regulation passed on Fennon Slough ?under the guise? of protecting waterfowl. There is ZERO enforcement of this there, and to be quite honest, it’s mainly because it’s a ridiculous regulation that hasn’t had the intended effect other to appease the group that sought this regulation.

    I truly believe that if FWP considers these types of proposals, they will end up being litigated in court. There are far too many recreational boaters and fishermen that will organize and spend their money to fight these special interest groups, moreover, there is nothing about this group that can be considered as a “sportsman’s group”. They are simply a small, well-funded and vocal organization trying to control public resources for themselves while shutting out the majority of the public.

  • Dave_Skinner

    I guess dry wilderness isn’t enough. Make the rivers wilderness, too.

  • geraldcuvillier

    Yes the mussels are here and so are the pike, walleye and bass. The lakes and rivers will never be pre-Columbian again so we will have to learn to live with it. This is the same elitist that want to shut down everything. They have theirs so everyone else should get out of their playground.

  • Concerned Citizen

    I wonder if they included this in their proposal?