Madison River Petitions Advance

Madison River Petitions Advance

News Type: State Source: Helena Independent Record
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The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission advanced a pair of petitions Thursday that could shape the future of the Madison River.

On a 4-1 vote, the commission allowed petitions filed by Fishing Outfitters of Montana (FOAM) and three Butte-area conservation groups to go out for public comment. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will prepare a required environmental assessment of the petitions as the commission, river users and communities weigh in on rising fishing pressure, the health of the river and impacts to local economies.

Debate over angling and outfitting on the Madison has gone on for a decade or more. Angler days have jumped particularly in the last 10 years, making the Madison the most fished river in the state. That has raised concerns from some anglers that use may need to be curbed to protect the fishery and the experience of those who fish and float.