Officials to Seek Input On Ways to Regulate Madison River Use

Fish and Wildlife commissioners rejected petitions to limit guiding, bar boats

By Tristan Scott

HELENA — The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission has decided to seek public input on several suggestions for easing crowding on the scenic Madison River in southwestern Montana.

Commissioners on Tuesday rejected petitions to limit guiding, bar boats from wade-only sections and limit overall angling use, saying none would work on their own.

Instead, they asked the state Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks to take public comment on the proposals to identify the best options in each plan.

The agency will be asked to present a draft plan to the commission in February. Fisheries administrator Eileen Ryce tells the Bozeman Daily Chronicle a full recreation plan probably wouldn’t take effect until 2021.

Commissioners also decided to look into whether they could stop issuing outfitter permits for the popular fishing stream.

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