A limit to the number of commercial fishing guides on the Bitterroot is one of many proposals being considered by Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Bitterroot River Recreation Committee. According to Fisheries Manager Pat Saffel, the committee is attempting to address a disparity.

"We did some surveys and we found that commercial use was really high, anywhere from 70 to 90 percent of the use in this area is commercial use," said Saffel. "That is not necessarily bad, but we wanted to see if that use was causing local anglers to not fish the area."

Saffel says the group has been meeting for a while and has a number of proposals that range from minor to major restrictions on specified portions of the Bitterroot.

"The area affected is the West Fork of the Bitterroot river from Painted Rocks Dam down to the confluence of the East Fork and then the main stem of the Bitterroot from the confluence down to Wally Crawford Fishing Access site," Saffel said. "It is just basically the the upper Bitterrot and the West Fork."

According to Saffel, the proposals have not yet been finalized and discussion is still occurring. Actual changes won’t go into effect until spring of 2018.

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