Madison River CAC Update via the Madison River Foundation

by Mark McGlothlin on February 2, 2013

in River - Madison


The Madison River Foundation (in yesterday’s newsletter) kindly provided an update on the Montana FWP’s Citizens Advisory Committee’s work on reviewing the Madison’s recreation management plan.

Note there are only two meetings left on the schedule (highlighted below).

Richard at the MRF doesn’t expect a great deal to change….

For the most part it looks like the status quo for recreation regulations on the Madison River — at least for now.

As Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ Citizens Advisory Committee wraps up its work, with just two more meetings scheduled, it appears that little will change immediately. The CAC has focused its work on defining what are acceptable recreation conditions on each of the several sections of the Madison from Hebgen Lake to Three Forks, and what management actions should be taken in the future should conditions change for the worst. These potential management actions, escalating from least to most intrusive, would be implemented only if conditions exceed what is acceptable over a two-year span. And even then it would take at least another year or two to implement any regulation changes.

It’s looking like the status quo will be retained on the wade-only fishing section from Raynolds Pass downstream to Lyon Bridge. This easily has been the most contentious issue the committee has had to deal with.

The CAC is weighing whether to open a larger section of the Madison to year-round fishing. Currently, the Madison from Raynolds Pass to McAtee Bridge in closed to angling from the last Saturday in February to the third Saturday in May. Fisheries biologists believe opening more of this section to angling would not harm spawning rainbow trout but would relieve fishing pressure on the section below McAtee, especially from Varney Bridge downstream to Ennis.

The CAC has scheduled two more public meetings:

Sunday, Feb. 10th, 10 am to 4 pm in the Madison Valley Public Libray in Ennis.

Sunday, March 3rd, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, at FWP Headquarters in Bozeman.

The committee plans to present its final recommendations to the Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission in Helena on April 11th.

Tags: River - Madison