MTPR

Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission

A Bitterroot River fishing report outside Osprey Outfitters, a fly fishing shop in Hamilton.
Maxine Speier

New regulations to limit commercial guiding and float-fishing along the West Fork and Upper Bitterroot River will get a public hearing in Missoula Monday night. It's the first of three hearings Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is holding to get public feedback on the proposals.

On Saturday fish are rising to feed on the Bitterroot a short walk from downtown Hamilton. The river is teeming with fish - at about a thousand trout per mile, the Bitterroot holds many more fish than other rivers its same size. The valley is a well known blue ribbon fly-fishing destination.

But what do you do when a sport gets too popular?

Flathead Lake near Polson, MT.
P.J. Johnson (CC-BY-ND-2)

Boaters in the Flathead Basin may see some significant changes next season. A new set of regulations aimed at preventing the spread of invasive mussels next year are now being drafted.

The proposed regulations would require all boats to be inspected before they launch, set up a sticker for boats that only launch in Flathead and Swan Lakes, and establish annual fees to fund the program.

The "quiet waters" initiative would have restricted the use of motorized boats on some Montana waterways.
(PD)

The group that proposed the quiet waters initiative says they plan to try again.

The group Backcountry Hunters and Anglers proposed the rule in May 2016 to reduce conflicts between motorized and non-motorized users. But on Friday The Montana Fish and Wildlife commission voted down their proposal that would have restricted the use of motorized boats on some Montana waterways.

The "quiet waters" initiative recommends restrictions on motorized watercraft on several major water systems in Montana.
(PD)

On Friday, Montana's Fish and Wildlife Commission is expected to vote on the so-called “quiet waters” initiative proposed last year.

The comment period for the "quiet waters" initiative ends Feb. 12, 2017.
(PD)

The last of several public hearings on proposed changes to the way Montanans use motors on some streams and rivers happen tonight in Helena and Great Falls. There have been four public comment meetings on the "quiet waters" initiative so far.

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