Outdoor Etiquette – Respect Montana’s Rivers and Lakes this 4th of July Holiday
By Kelsey

Posted: July 3, 2012

Starting tomorrow and through this weekend the traffic on rivers, lakes and campsites are at their highest of the year. The more people there is, the more diverse the activities in the outdoors and on Montana’s waters becomes. This is a very exciting time of year but with no outdoor etiquette; anger, annoyance and conflicts will emerge. Respecting etiquette and the outdoors will also protect these amazing places for your sons and daughters and their kids to enjoy for years to come. We tracked down some essential outdoor etiquette to share with you and hope it helps everyone to have a fantastic 4th of July!

  1. Have Regard for Space and Privacy: Everyone is leaving town and heading to the outdoors to get away, most outdoor activities and sports require space and crowding someone only takes away from that experience. When floating down the river and passing an angler it is respectful to be quiet and stay on the other side of the river. Never float over a fly fisherman’s hole, and if you are that fisherman never be a ‘hole-hog’, you should always move on to another hole and share hot spot.
  2. Be Mindful of Time: A lot of times in the outdoors there are areas that are shared by all and have the potential to create unwanted annoyance and conflict. One of those places is the boat ramp. It is respectful to have everything prepared before backing into the boat ramp instead of making others wait and watch you unload your gear or load your coolers up.
  3. Turn Down the Volume: Being loud and having fun is different then creating ‘noise pollution’. Hollers and Whoops here and there are normal, but constantly yelling and blaring loud music is never a respectful thing to do and will definitely irritate those close by. Leave the noise back in town where it belongs! When you are on a river it is respectful to quiet down when floating near others and a short distance to  neighborhoods. Noise is one of the major annoyances while outdoors and trying to relax.
  4. Leave No Trace: A lot of gear, food and garbage is brought into the Outdoors, especially during 4th of July. It is always a rule of thumb “if you pack it in, pack it out”. No one likes someone who deliberately litters, so don’t be that person! Montana is the “last best place” and let’s keep it that way.
  5. Avoid Damaging Aquatic Habitat: When moving from fishing hole up or down the river, when possible you should walk on the solid shoreline instead of along the stream bed and stirring up the fragile habitat.