Montana moves forward with plan to ease Madison River crowds

Montana is moving ahead with its attempt to ease crowding on the Madison.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks have put forward a proposal for regulating fishing outfitters and easing crowding on the Madison River, one of the top fly-fishing destinations in the world, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported. Its proposal would cap the number of guided trips, bar guides from some river sections on certain days and create a stamp program for anglers to begin gathering data on nonguided fishing pressure.

Some folks are raising objections.

Mac Minard, executive director of the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association, said that because of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the commission should put the process on pause.

LINK (via: Jackson Hole News & Guide)

2 thoughts on “Montana moves forward with plan to ease Madison River crowds

  1. Some news from another past of the West that I saw just now in a British paper and thought you lovers of the outdoors would smile at as I did – good news about a certain Yellowstone bear. Warning: cuteness attack.

  2. I wish the fly fishing world could witness how the entire process of regulating the upper Madison River has evolved over the last couple of years. Being on the frontline of all things related to Madison River fly fishing, I can attest to the absolutely pathetic methodology by FWP for getting to this point in the decision making process.

    11% of angler days on the upper Madison River are used for commercial purposes. That means that 89% of angler days are from recreational anglers. Bozeman, Montana is growing at an astonishing rate. Every house sold practically comes with a mustache grooming kit, black lab and a Toyota Tundra with a drift boat in tow.

    Guides and outfitters that live full-time in Ennis, Montana have mortgages and children. Covid-19 has decimated their 2020 income. Now FWP wants to restrict when, where and how many days they can fish. All of these guides are stewards of the Madison River. They treat the fish well and don’t litter. Social conflict between guides and recreational anglers is NOT an issue on the river. Last year was one of the best dry fly years on record with a ridiculous number of big fish caught.

    I ask that all you take a second to understand that restricting commercial use on the Madison River is not the answer to reducing crowding. The growth of Bozeman, Montana is the problem. Sure, the Madison River gets quite busy with guide trips from June 15th – September 15th. The local fly fishing guides acknowledge the need to decrease angling pressure during this time period, however cutting off their income as we recover from a terrible year is an absolute tragedy for their livelihoods.

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