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Buy & Apply Outfitter & Commercial Use Permits

Commercial Use on FWP Lands

A permit is required to conduct commercial use on FWP fishing access sites, wildlife management areas, some rivers, and at state parks.

For information about commercial use at state parks, see Montana State Parks commercial use.

"Commercial Use" means any person or entity that utilizes land under the control, administration, and jurisdiction of the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks for consideration. Commercial use includes any person, group or organization, that makes or attempts to make a profit, vend a service or product, receive money, amortize equipment, or obtain goods or services as compensation from participants in activities occurring on land that is under the control, administration, and jurisdiction of the Department. This includes nonprofit organizations and educational groups that receive money from participants in activities occurring on Department land. This includes a person whose business operates on Department land, regardless of that person's physical presence at the site, but does not include a person who rents, sells, or otherwise provides equipment or merchandise that is used on department land unless the renting, selling, delivering, or providing of equipment or merchandise takes place on Department land.

Examples of Commercial Use

Examples of commercial use include but are not limited to:

  • trail rides
  • guided walks or tour
  • float trips
  • guided angling or hunting
  • game retrieval
  • professional dog training
  • equipment rentals
  • retail sales
  • food concessions
  • filming
  • firewood cutting
  • construction-related activities
  • research when accompanied by paying clients
  • or any combination thereof

Rules & Fees

Commercial Use Rules

These rules provide guidance to FWP for considering requests to conduct commercial use on FWP land and administering authorized use.

Commercial Use Fees

FWP charges a fee to conduct commercial use on FWP land. The fee is a way to compensate the public for the opportunity to conduct commercial use on public land. The fee also helps to offset impacts on sites and facilities and cover the cost of administering the use. Commercial use fees help to pay for the management and improvement of FWP sites and facilities.

Fees for conducting commercial use on FWP fishing access sites, wildlife management areas, and restricted rivers, are established by the following Commercial Use Fee Rule.

For commercial use fees at state parks, go to Montana State Parks commercial use

Permits

Fishing Access Site (FAS) Permit

All licensed outfitters and water-based service providers must obtain an FAS Permit to conduct commercial use at FWP Fishing Access Sites. Exception: An outfitter or water-based commercial service provider who has a Commercial Use Permit to operate on a restricted river and does not use any FWP sites on other rivers, does not have to obtain an FAS permit.

You have the option of choosing an annual permit or a one-day permit. The permit is available online , at any FWP regional office , license providers , or you may download the paper application for the annual permit:

Commercial Use Permit

The following must obtain a Commercial Use Permit to conduct commercial use at a Fishing Access Site or Wildlife Management Area:

  • Licensed outfitters and water based service providers operating on restricted rivers
  • Photographers, special events, guided tours, watercraft livery, rental or demonstration
  • Commercial Use Permit Application 

Reference Guides

See the reference guides below for more information about permit requirements for different types of commercial use:

Rules pertaining to fishing contests and the permitting process are available at Fishing Contest Permits.