Public hearing on commercial cap implementation date

Rule making process triggered again

The Fish & Wildlife Commission will hold a public hearing to consider an amendment voted on by the commissioners relating to the implementation of the commercial use cap on the Madison River.

During the commissioners’ April 1 meeting, the commissioners moved to delay the commercial use cap implementation to Jan. 1, 2023. In the Madison River Recreation Rules, finalized in December 2020, this cap was to begin Jan. 1, 2022.

Though this amendment was approved 4-1 at the April meeting, it did not designate an immediate change in the rules. As a ‘quasi-judicial body,’ the Fish & Wildlife Commission must now go back through the rule making process to undo the original commercial cap implementation date, District 2 Commissioner Patrick Byorth explained.

“A lot of people didn’t understand what was happening in the commissioners’ meeting, so it’s created a lot of confusion,” Commissioner Byorth said.

The amendment made in April triggered the rule making process, which will begin with the public hearing on May 13 at 6 p.m. Public comment will be accepted during the hearing, as is part of the rule making process. Written comments can be emailed to or mailed to Madison River Comments, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT, 59620-0701 by May 14 for consideration.

The meeting will be conducted via Zoom only. Those interested in viewing and participating may visit, Fish & Wildlife Commission page.

Commissioners will use the public hearing to inform their decision and will vote again on whether or not to amend the implementation date. No other portions of the Madison River Recreation Rules are being considered for modification.

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The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729

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