FWP Opens Public Comment for Proposed West Fork of the Bitterroot Fishing Restrictions
By Jackalope Jordan
The public will have five weeks to comment on the proposed restrictions for commercial and recreational use of the West Fork and Upper Bitterroot River.
The Ravalli Republic reports the new restrictions would ban floating sections of the river between July 1 and Sept. 15. Commercial use permit holders would only be allowed to float some sections twice per day and would not be able to float designated sections from July 1 to Sept. 15 in addition to those closed to all floats.
The proposed restrictions are the recommendation of a 16 person citizen advisory council. They intend to preserve the quality of fishing opportunities on the river in the face of growing number of anglers on the water every year.
Chrissy Oschell, FWP Region 2 River Recreation Manager, told the RR the public comment period was extended to five weeks from the usual 30 days in anticipation of high interest from the community. There will also be public hearings held in Hamilton, Missoula and Butte.
Perry Backus/Ravalli Republic photo