The Madison River and Excessive Angler Days
The amount of angler days on the Madison River has brought up a good bit of controversy in 2018. As the population and tourism in Montana continue to grow, this will likely be an issue of concern for years to come. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks is in the process of drafting a new Madison River Recreational Plan for 2020 with the intention of improving the user experience on the river.
We are in full agreement with the need for a well thought out and plan that will help reduce traffic on the river during the peak seasons. The number of users on the river, from guided trips to recreational floaters (i.e.- “tubers”) is increasing year after year. Everyone that enjoys this magnificent river should be paying attention to this process and asking themselves what they can do to help protect the experience and the resource. Issues extend well beyond just too many guide boats on the river in July. Anglers and commercial users finance the infrastructure (access), management efforts, and services such as garbage collection and site services through conservation and fishing license purchases. If you don’t buy a conservation license from the State of Montana and use the river for recreational floating, camping, dog-walks, etc. – you should. It costs next to nothing, is valid for a year and the income is needed by MTFWP to support our public lands, fisheries, waterways, wildlife, and wild places.
Check out this short video regarding the possible overuse of one of our Bozeman fly shop’s favorite rivers.