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MADISON RIVER RULES

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks - Madison River

Recreation Management – Rules Passed November 18, 2020

  • New Rule I – Commercial Cap

    • Current Madison River SRP (special recreation permit – outfitters) holders will be capped at their historic use (number of trips) from either 2019 or 2020, whichever was highest.

    • Implementation of this cap will happen on January 1, 2022.

    • Mechanics of how this cap will be administered will be determined by a work group as prescribed in New Rule XIV.

  • New Rule II – Rest and Rotation

    • June 15-September 30

      • Raynolds Bridge to Lyons Bridge - Saturday, Outfitters not allowed.

      • Lyons Bridge to Palisades - Sunday, Outfitters not allowed.

    • Implementation of this rule in 2023

  • New Rule III – Walk/Wade Sections

    • Ennis-Ennis Lake - Status quo with boats still allowed to access fishing year-round. No fishing from a boat.

    • June 15 – September 30

      • Raynolds Bridge to Lyons Bridge – Monday-Friday, status quo with boats still allowed to access fishing. No fishing from a boat.

      • Raynolds Bridge to Lyons Bridge – Saturday-Sunday, open to fishing from a boat.

    • October 1 – June 14

      • Raynolds Bridge to Lyons Bridge – Status quo with boats still allowed to access fishing. No fishing from a boat.

    • Implementation of this rule in 2023

  • New Rule IV – Greycliff-Headwaters

    • New public access site acquisitions limited to carry-in access only.

    • Implementation in 2021.

  • New Rule XIII – Plan Evaluation

    • New Rule I evaluated by the Commission in 2023

    • New Rule II and new Rule III evaluated by the Commission in 2024 after 1-year trial period

    • All new recreational rules for the Madison evaluated every 5 years thereafter

  • New Rule XIV – Madison River Working Group

    • Members appointed by the Commission to include:

      • 3 Madison SRP holders

      • 3 non-commercial users

      • 2 Madison Valley business interests not connected to commercial outfitting

      • 1 member trained in natural resource management not working for FWP

      • 1 at-large member

      • 1 Commission member

      • 1 BLM representative

    • The working group will develop recommendations to the Commission on:

      • Allocation methodology for commercial cap in New Rule I

      • A process of permitting new outfitters through New Rule I

      • Rule language for all recreational use for the Madison, including rules already established for rest/rotation and walk/wade

    • Working group decisions will not be consensus driven

  • New Rule XV – Madison River Reporting Requirements

    • All persons recreating on the Madison must provide information on their use as prescribed by the Department which is reported to the Commission and working group.

    • The Department is considering a combination of methods for use reporting involving sign-in boxes, interviews, and remote cameras.