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pmflyfisher 01-22-2002 07:36 PM

Montana Sued For New Fishing Regs

See below yesterdays press release on new proposed restrictions on the famous Beaverhead and Big Hole rivers.

I have heard these two rivers are heavily floated by the guide services as our several of our midwestern rivers. This can make for very crowded unpleasant fishing conditions and over use on the river and fish resources. Another example of over use of our rivers with out controls. This may be the first one like this in the US.

I have mixed feelings both ways on this issue but have seen one world class steelhead, salmon, and trout fishery here in the midwest which the drift boat guides have impacted negatively over the last 15 years. Seeing one drift boat after another floating a smaller river and contending for space to fish is just not a quality fishing experience for the drifters and the walk in fisherman.

Montana sued for new fishing restrictions

Outfitters file over managed fishing on Beaverhead, Big Hole rivers

Associated Press Jan. 21, 2002

BUTTE, Mont. Fishing outfitters filed suit Thursday, Jan. 17, challenging the state's plan to restrict outfitters and out-of-state anglers on two of the state's most famous fishing rivers.

The lawsuit by the Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana asks a state district judge to rule on the validity of the state wildlife agency's management rules for the Big Hole and Beaverhead rivers of southwestern Montana.

The regulations, adopted in February, are an effort to address crowding along the two popular trout rivers. The rules reserve certain days, river stretches and access points for use by Montanans, while setting aside times and places for out-of-state anglers or outfitters.

They also continue a 1999 moratorium on new outfitters working the rivers, and limit the number of clients outfitters can serve during peak fishing periods.

The association contends the state Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks did not follow rule-making requirements and exceeded its authority in adopting the restrictions. The state Environmental Quality Council considered that issue in December and rejected it.

OC 01-31-2002 03:46 PM

This was bound to happen and I'm not surprised it did not happen years ago. In the early 80's these very issues came up on the over crowded Madison River. At that time the guides realized that unless they got some type of order on the river there would be restrictions on their line of work. The guides did a ok job of keeping out of trouble for awhile but as the sport grew and there were more flyfisherpersons coming in from all over needing equipment, lessons and guides things once again broke down as they have now on the rivers further west.

My question is where should our sport go now? Have we become over commercialized? Are people in the sport for the wrong reasons?

The sport to me has become just another form of eco tourism driven by slick advertising to buy this because it's better and come fish some new place somewhere on the other side of the world and we will take care of every need for you. Yes the sport has helped make awareness to watershed needs around the world but at the same time we are over loving these same watersheds now.

I worry about the quality of flyfishing as many who are now in control of the FF market now are into the quanity of the sport.

pmflyfisher 01-31-2002 07:01 PM

Yes I am worried also.

I can see more of this type of controlled fishing on blue ribbon waters. If it will preserve them for the future I am for it and will pay the extra costs and limitations on when I can fish them etc..

Similar to what Europe has implemented on the majority of their waters I beleive. Could be wrong but most of the blue ribbon waters there have more controls than the US.

Moonlight 02-10-2002 05:05 PM

This is an issue that seems to follow us around everywhere we tread in the west. Proliferation of outfitters and guides is uncontroled in most locales and every time its brought up that there may be a need to do something about this growth it just seems to create more of a land rush to get a permit to grandfather in another small time operator.
Obviously everyone needs a job of some type to make a living why so many want to go outfitting and guiding is beyond me. Just about anything you do that requires that much tme and energy would return more for your investment!
I think part of its got to be the BS stories about the great Guide mystique of old. Never was able to figure why showing other dumb bastards how to catch a fish was better than catching them yourself. I think it has its roots somewhere I can't quite get to. oh well in this economy any job is a good thing too bad these particular jobs detract from such a great passtime.

Whiskey Dick 02-11-2002 03:29 PM

Moonlight,Well i am on both sides of this coin, When i take a vacation that involves fishing i hire a guide and i also guide in my home state. Why do i hire a guide?, well lets see, when i take a fishing vacation it is for one week,that includes 2 days to travel to the location and to travel home,that leaves 5 days for fishing. Now do i want to waste an other day going round the local fly shops to find out what is working and where to fish?, Or should i just ask local anglers who i am positive will tell me all the best spots to fish:chuckle: .The last 5 trips i took(over the last 6 years) you needed a boat to access the fish, Now how am i going to get my boat to B.C. or Alaska or the Bahamas or across the country,that would take up more days of my trip. I could always rent one and float a river i hve never floated before,that would be interesting and probably waste another day.But then you can not always find boat rentals can you. I hire a guide so he can take care of providing the transportation on the river,explain what to use,show me where the fish should be holding, provide food for the trip and also to tell me about the local area and its history.If that makes me a "dumb bastard" then as a famous film star once said "i ams what i ams":D . As for why i became a guide thats easy,if some one is willing to pay me to be on the river for a little less money than what i can make behind a desk "Show Me The Money",Anyway i like helping "Dumb Bastards" catch fish,how not to drown by wading in too deep water and educating them about ecosystems, how fragile our river systems are and the "leave no trace ethics".
pmflyfisher,i can not speak for all of Europe but i was born and raised in the U.K. and the big difference is the laws of the land. In the U.K. if you own the land you own to the middle of the river which means there is no access to the rivers with out permision. Under those laws it is a lot easer to regulate how many people are fishing the waters and keep the fishing as "pay to play" which has pros and cons.
Just mt .02cents worth,brian

pmflyfisher 02-11-2002 10:06 PM

Whisky Dick,

Good comments

Us U.S. flyfishers would get in a lot of trouble in UK with the land owners owning the land to the middle of the river adjacent to their lands.

We would have to be completely reprogrammed.

God I love America !! :smokin: :smokin:

Whiskey Dick 02-11-2002 10:20 PM

God I love America !! :smokin: :smokin: pmflyfisher, i could not agree more:D

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