State of Montana Website Montana State Parks Website
Madison River Management Plan
Three Dollar Bridge, Madison River

Most Recent Update

May 13, 2013

The Madison River Citizen Advisory Committee has completed its recommendations for recreation management on the Madison River. The recommendations were presented by the Madison CAC at the May 9 Commission Meeting in Helena and endorsed by the Commission. FWP is now accepting comments on the recommendations presented by the Madison CAC. You may submit any comments online or email At the conclusion of the comment period, the department will prepare a Draft Recreation Management Plan and environmental analysis based on the CAC recommendations and the public's comments on those recommendations. The department would then conduct a second comment period to solicit comments on the Draft Plan and environmental analysis.

The Madison River is world-renowned for the quality of its trout fishing and is often the most heavily fished river in the state. River related recreation is enjoyed by Montanans and visitors alike. The river is important to the local economy and benefits fishing outfitters, tackle shops, motels, restaurants, and other area businesses.

The popularity of the Madison River has affected the quality of the recreation experience for some people. Their concerns include congestion on the river and at access sites, conflicts between user groups, trespass on private property, and littering.

To ensure the Madison continues to meet the expectations of its many visitors, FWP is developing a recreation management plan for the river. The plan will guide future management decisions with a goal of providing a variety of quality recreation for a diverse public while protecting the resources in the river and on adjacent uplands. The plan will identify actions to address social conflicts where needed.

FWP anticipates the planning process will take place throughout 2012 with a final plan adopted in 2013. There will be ample opportunities for people to participate in the planning process and information and updates will be provided on this web page.

FWP Seeking Comments on Madison River Citizen Advisory Committee Recommendations

FWP appointed a Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) to assist with the planning process. FWP is seeking comments on the committee's recommendations. Comments are due by June 21.

Next Step: Preparation of Draft Plan and EA

FWP will prepare a draft management plan and environmental analysis document that assesses the predicted impacts of the plan. These documents will be posted on this web page for public review and comment. The final plan will be based on the committee's recommendations, input from the public, consideration of environmental impacts, and input from staff.

Madison River Surveys and Other Background Information