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Public Hearings Set for Beaverhead Big Hole Proposed Amendments

Fishing - Region 3

Monday, February 22, 2016

Montana’s Fish and Wildlife Commission is seeking comment on proposed amendments to the Big Hole and Beaverhead Rules. Two public hearings will be held in southwest Montana in March. Both meetings will begin at 6 p.m. on the dates and locations noted below.

•Dillon: Wed., Mar. 16, Univ. of Montana–Western, Block Hall 311, 710 S. Atlantic St.

•Butte: Thurs., Mar. 17, US Forest Service, 1820 Meadowlark Ln.              

The proposed amendments to the Big Hole and Beaverhead River Rules are related to outfitting on the rivers, specifically involving the allocation of temporary client days on these rivers. The public notice can be found at

Current rules state one-boat outfitters may apply on an annual basis for up to 60 temporary client days on the Beaverhead or Big Hole Rivers. The proposed amendments will prohibit outfitters who have surrendered (or transferred) their client days, or who have had their permit revoked, from applying for these temporary client days.

The commission is proposing this change to support the original intent of the rules which was to give small, river outfitting businesses a chance to obtain a temporary client day permit on the Big Hole River or Beaverhead River. The proposed changes will not increase or decrease the number of permits and will have no affect on the use of the rivers. Currently, experienced outfitters are surrendering or selling their Big Hole River and Beaverhead River permits and then applying for temporary client days. This restricts the ability of less experienced outfitters to do business on the rivers.

Comments may be sent to Cheryl Morris, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, 1400 S. 19th Ave., Bozeman, MT, 59718; or e-mail, and must be received no later than March 25, 2016.