Commission passes rule changes on Madison, regulations on stretch of Big Hole
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: December 27, 2021

HELENA – The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission approved two rule changes on Monday concerning recreational and commercial use on the Madison River. In addition, commissioners approved an adjustment to brown trout regulations on a section the Big Hole River.

In a relatively short meeting, the commission dealt with two recommendations from the current Madison River Work Group, which has met several times during the past six months.

The work group recommended administrative rule changes that would keep the walk/wade sections in place, as they have been for decades: Quake Lake to Lyons Bridge and Ennis Bridge to Ennis Lake. In 2020, the previous commission approved a rule that would have adjusted the long-standing walk/wade sections starting Jan. 1. Today’s commission action reverses the previous 2020 commission decision and keeps the walk/wade sections on the Madison River as they are described in the 2021 fishing regulations.

The work group also recommended repealing the rule passed by the 2020 commission that established a rest/rotation system for commercial use on the upper Madison River. On Monday, the commission followed the work group recommendation and repealed that rule as well.

On the Big Hole River, the commission adjusted 2022 fishing dates for the stretch of river from the Bureau of Land Management Maiden Rock fishing access site to the Browne’s Bridge FAS. That section will be open for fishing April 1 through Sept. 30.