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Smith River Private Float Permit Lottery Draw

Feb 23, 2021 12:00 AM

Feb 23, 2021 12:01 AM

On Tuesday, February 23rd the draw for Smith River Permits will be held.


Application Information

Permit Lottery to float the Smith River in the 2021 season.

The Smith River lottery opens on Monday, January 4th, 2021 and remains open through Monday, February 15, 2021

The permit drawing will be held on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021.

FWP will notify successful applicants by email. FWP does not notify unsuccessful permit applicants.

Parties of up to 15 people can float with one permit. A person applying for a Smith River permit must be a minimum of 12 years of age at the time they submit their permit application. There is no age restriction to participate on a Smith River float trip.

Applicants pay a $10 non-refundable permit application fee. Successful Smith River applicants will no longer receive their permit and floater information packet via the United States Postal Service.  Instead, successful applicants will be notified via email shortly after the lottery drawing is conducted on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021. Links within the email will allow permit holders to download and print their float permit, as well as access vital and detailed information regarding their upcoming Smith River float.  Lottery results will also be available online at

Those who receive a permit will be contacted by phone two days prior to their launch date to complete the registration process, which includes declaring boat camps and paying the appropriate floats fees. 

Applicants can apply online (beginning January 4th, 2021) through the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) Automated Licensing System. Float permit quotas will be limited between April 1st and May 4th   to honor permittees affected by the COVID-19 river closure during this time period in 2020 (Drawing Quotas for Honored Days PDF).  Additionally, applicants who drew a peak season permit in 2020 will be allowed to apply for a peak season permit in 2021.

In addition to the regular private float trip permits, FWP issues one Super Permit each year through a separate lottery. The recipient of the permit will be allowed to launch on any date of their choosing for that year.


For more information, visity the Smith River State Park page here.