Walk/wade, prohibit commercial fishing, Citizen's Day, rest-rotation and limits/caps are all phrases you'll see in the VERY important Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks survey.

You have until the first week in January to fill out the survey, which is asking for your OPINION about some proposed options to improve conditions on the Madison River.

The scoping process comes at the direction of the Fish and Wildlife Commission, which met earlier this month to hear petitions from various interest groups proposing solutions to recreation management on the Madison River.

The commission denied all three petitions but directed the department staff to insert the options proposed within the petitions into a scoping process.

MADISON RIVER RECREATION SCOPING: Comment by Jan 6

Two examples of questions you'll see on this survey are:

  • How important do you think it is to maintain a healthy and sustainable fishery on the Madison River?
  • How important do you think it is to provide for a diversity of angling opportunities on the Madison River?

HOWEVER, I'm expecting some folks to lose their minds with a few of the proposed options to limit/improve conditions for both anglers and other recreationists.

How about: "Cap the total number of outfitter trips at 2018 levels"

You'll see what I mean when you take the survey, but in addition to addressing the number of anglers and the manner in which we can access the Madison, I think it's EQUALLY important for each respondent to take the pledge: "I promise not to recreate like a sloppy, drunk, jerk who doesn't practice what I preach."

Currently there are no limits or caps on the numbers of outfitters on the river or the number of trips they take, provided they apply for a Special Resource Permit (SRP) and pay 3% of gross revenue to FWP after each calendar year.

Photo Credit: Jesse Ropelato