The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission is now accepting comment on a proposed rule for entering applications to the annual drawing through which float dates on the Smith River are assigned. The rule, tentatively adopted by the Commission at its December 6 meeting in Helena, was proposed to try to achieve better equity in the permit allocation process.
Included in the tentative rule for the popular river southwest of Great Falls are provisions that would limit persons to submitting only one application to the annual drawing, requiring that all applicants be at least 16 years of age and reducing the number of requested float dates on the application from five to three.
Floaters also are able to secure a launch date after the drawings by selecting dates for which floating spots still remain open or by picking up openings created by cancellations of successful applicants on a first-come basis.
Information on the tentative rule is available from the Parks Division, 1420 E. 6th Ave., Helena, MT 59620, as well as from the Parks Division office in FWP's Great Falls Region 4 headquarters (telephone 406-454-5840). Comments on the proposed rule should be sent to: Smith River, c/o FWP, P.O. Box 6610, Great Falls, MT 59406. Comments on the rule will be accepted through January 10, when the Commission is expected to adopt a final application rule for 1997.