At its meeting on January 10, the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission revised the rules for entering applications to the annual drawing through which float dates on the Smith River are assigned.
The rules for applying for permits to float the popular river southwest of Great Falls now include provisions that limit persons to submitting only one application to the annual drawing through which permits are assigned and that reduce the number of requested potential float dates on the application from five to three. In addition, the annual rule passed last year prohibiting successful applicants who failed to cancel trips in 1996 from applying for a permit this year will be strictly enforced.
Floaters may be 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.
The changes were made to try to achieve better equity in the permit allocation process.
Applications for floating the Smith River, which now are available by calling the agency's Region 4 office in Great Falls at 454-5840 or FWP's Parks Division in Helena at 444-3750, will be accepted through February 25.