Casting about for solutions to Madison River congestion

DUNCAN ADAMS

Bad idea, said one man.

He was referring to a proposal to someday require a daily float permit for recreational users of the Madison River.

The Madison River Work Group recommended such a permit as one way to quantify escalating use of the much-beloved river by non-commercial anglers.

The initial purpose of the permit would be data gathering. But it could evolve into a way to restrict use of the river by average folks who haven’t hired an outfitter/guide.

The man who thought the recreational permit was a bad idea shared his opinion Tuesday night during a scoping meeting in Butte sponsored by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

The meeting focused on recommendations to the Fish and Wildlife Commission from the Madison River Work Group. Sixteen people not associated with FWP attended the meeting to hear a presentation and ask questions about the recommendations.

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The stated format was clear: FWP said it was there to share information and  answer questions, not field comments. Not everyone followed the format, hence the “bad idea” comment and several other observations unencumbered by any hint of a question.

Three members of

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