Loved to death: Groups look to curb congestion on the Madison River

What’s Montana’s most loved river? The Smith? The Yellowstone? The Bitterroot? 

Well, if you measure love by usage it’s most likely the Madison.

Given angling pressure on the river, with rafts as prolific some days as caddis flies and with trout being hooked and released multiple times, many people believe something has to change.

For years now, both commercial outfitters and recreational anglers floating the river have expressed concerns that the Madison is being loved to death. There are fears that familiarity breeds descent in angler experience.

On this episode Duncan Adams, outdoor reporter for the Montana Standard newspaper, talks about the tensions between user groups and the river stuck in the middle.

This podcast is created in partnership across five newsrooms – the Billings Gazette, the Helena Independent Record, the Missoulian, the Montana Standard and the Ravalli-Republic. You can support this podcast and our efforts by subscribing. Visit any of these newspapers’ websites, and click on the Become a Member button at the top of the home page. We appreciate your support of local journalism.

Thom Bridge can be reached at

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