The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission is seeking public comment Jan. 27 – March 7 on changes to the recreational use rules in effect on the Beaverhead and Big Hole Rivers.
The changes, based on the recommendations of the Beaverhead and Big Hole River Citizen Advisory Committee, would adjust where and how float outfitting would be accomodated on the rivers.
The three public meetings, scheduled from 6:30-9 p.m., will be held:
*Feb. 22 in Bozeman at FWP Region 3 Headquarters.
*Feb. 23 in Butte at Red Lion Inn.
*Feb. 24 in Dillon at Western Montana College in the James Short building.
The committee recommendations included combining two reaches on the Beaverhead River—Barretts to Tash Bridge and Tash Bridge to Selway Bridge—into one reach. Each outfitter would be limited to launching one boat on any day within this longer reach of the river. This opens the Tash Bridge to Selway Bridge stretch of the river to float outfitting. It was previously closed to float outfitting.
The committee also proposed:
* closing the Big Hole River to float outfitting from the river’s headwaters to Mudd Creek fishing access site,
* eliminating restrictions on float outfitting from Notch Bottom fishing access site to High Bridge fishing access site,
* and creating an opportunity for outfitters who operate with one boat to obtain un-used client days on a temporary basis, not to exceed the overall cap on outfitted use in a period of time.
The committee recommended that the FWP Commission review the rules on both rivers within five years.
The remainder of the current rules would stay the same.
The full text of the proposed changes will be available beginning Jan. 27 on the FWP web site, River Recreation Management.
Public comments may be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Attn: River Recreation, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.