Folks, Just wanted to pass the info below from the Blue Ribbon Flies newsletter.

I know there's a lot of differing opinions about some of the topics Craig mentions but I just wanted to get the word out. FYI...I sent in my comments and within a day I received a personal email from Joel Tohtz who is the Fisheries Management Bureau Chief. That's a good sign that they're at least listening and taking comments under consideration. ~Rich

Introduction by Craig Mathews

Do me a favor. Please Google Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks' "official" page, click on "Submit Public Comments", then click on "Fishing" and comment on their proposed 2016 changes to our fishing regulations.
For the Madison River you will find a proposal to allow killing a trout, any trout, on what has been a "no kill" stretch for over 40 years. Additionally you will see another proposal to allow angling all year on the Earthquake Lake to McAtee Bridge stretch of river that has been closed March to mid-May for over 20 years to protect spawning rainbows.

2016 Fishing Comment Page

I am not a fishery biologist. But, I have strong feelings for the wild trout of the Madison and other Montana rivers. I'd like the large, prime spawning age fish to be protected. I feel spawning fish need time to reproduce without anglers wading through their spawning nests. I had one official tell me yesterday, "the river could probably stand the loss of several thousand rainbow eggs by anglers wading through their spawning beds". Personally, I want to protect and preserve every rainbow trout in the river. The river needs a break.
Too, Hebgen Dam is finally repaired after 8 years of work. Flows from the dam will change from mostly lake surface to near bottom releases in November. I'd like to see the river's fishing regulations downstream of Earthquake Lake continue as they have been, to see if the fishery and insect communities remain as they have in the past. Who really knows what might occur as flows change out of the dam.
Montana's fisheries people want to "simplify" fishing regulations. The State's world-class fishery programs were not built on simple regulations and programs. I have a hard time figuring their desire to "fix" a program and regulations that are not broken.

One change in the proposed regulations would allow killing a rainbow on rivers like the Madison and Jefferson. Before that should be considered I feel biologists need to know how the river's population fared under this summer's stressfully warm flows before they can spike the ball in the end zone and claim success.
Please take a few minutes and comment on the 2016 proposed changes to Montana's fishing regulations. Thank you in advance.