of rivers in Montana
Rivers of Montana: Overview of Montana whitewater, Montana
paddling, Montana canoeing, Montana kayaking, Montana rafting,
Montana fly-fishing, Montana river conservation, Montana river
law, and Montana river access.
What do you want? Fishing? Floating? A little whitewater
excitement? How about wildlife, or maybe some history, and who
isn't ready for a little peace and quiet? If you want any of these
things, Montana's a pretty fine place to find it.
Even the most jaded youngster can't fail to be impressed by the
part the Missouri River played in opening up the West.
Lewis and Clark are probably the most famous adventurers
to ply its changeable waters, which range from the placid to the
turbulent, with Great Falls requiring a portage. The scenery is
spectacular where the river cuts up against the White Cliffs,
and intimidating where it flows through the badlands, but wherever
you choose to put in, you'll never forget you're paddling one of
the great rivers of North America.
Those with a fishing rod, some paddling skills, and a kayak or
covered canoe can try out the Blackfoot River. Depending
on the section you choose to travel, you may find yourself
avoiding snags and submerged logs in tight turns, or you may take
on a lot of cold water just below Scotty Brown Bridge. But the
hazards aren't insurmountable, provided you are properly prepared,
and the trout fishing in these waters -- cutthroat, bull,
brown, and rainbow -- will make up for any dampness leaking
through your spray skirt!
There's also excellent fishing to be found on the Yellowstone
River. Get your blood pumping first by running the relatively
few whitewater miles of the 680-mile long river just below Gardiner,
then pull out your rod for some of the best angling in the state.
History buffs love this river as well: Lewis and Clark also
traveled this way, and you can still see Clark's name where he
inscribed in on Pompey's Pillar (named for Sacajawea's
son) in 1806.
Dedicated wilderness lovers seek out the Flathead River.
Regardless of the fork or section you pick, you're likely to need
either some solid paddling experience, sturdy gear, portages,
shuttles, backcountry skills, or all of them altogether. The
rewards, though, are marvelous, because you'll have the fantastic
whitewater and solitude you dream about as you sit in traffic
all winter long.
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River News and Opinions
- Reports and descriptions of specific rivers in Montana.
- The current status of river conservation and access
issues in Montana.
The following news is assembled from postings
from various sources, as a public service. The sponsors of this
website do not assume responsibility for accuracy. Always
double-check information before relying on it, especially when
your safety is involved!
Federal Judge Protects River Access
Crowding on Montana's Shores
Public Access Rights Back in the
Montana Keeps Its Rivers Free
A lawsuit challenging Montanans the right to access their
rivers and streams for recreation was rejected by a
federal judge earlier this year. The ruling landed solidly in
the favor of public access advocates.
U.S. District Judge Charles C. Lovell stated that the
Denver-based Mountain States Legal Foundation, who acted
on behalf of the plaintiffs, failed to demonstrate that the 1985
law was unconstitutional; moveover, he said, the plaintiffs long
ago missed the three-year deadline for filing a lawsuit
following the passage of a law. Instead, Judge Lovell found the
defendants had provided substantial support for the legality
and desirability of the law, which had already been upheld
in a 1987 Montana Supreme Court Decision.
More information can be found at
Nonresidents Overwhelm Rivers
Montana's state legislature has proposed that the number of
out-of-state anglers be limited to allow Montana's
outdoorspeople some breathing room.
Commercial-free zones have been proposed by the Montana Fish
and Game Commission on two of the most popular fishing rivers --
the Big Hole and the Beaverhead -- from May through September.
Other rules include creating a Citizens' Day on summer and fall
Saturdays, when only Montana residents may fish, and opening
pheasant season a week earlier and excluding nonresidents during
Following a public comment period, the measure could be voted
on as early as February 2001.
Owners contend private land makes
for private waters
The battle lines are again forming in the pull for water
rights between private landowners and public river users. An
article in December 3rd's
Gazette briefly examines the dispute between the
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the
landowners who are suing for the right to deny the public
access to public waterways when those waterways abutt public
You can read the full article by clicking on the Gazette
SPECIFIC RIVERS: Click to jump down to descriptions
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of River Events in Montana
Click to jump down to:
Races and Competitions. | River
River Cleanups. | River
Festivals and Rendezvous.
Conventions, meetings, and classes. |
(This calendar is assembled as a public service,
using postings from individuals. The sponsors of this website
assume no responsibility for the accuracy of the listings, or the
quality of the events. Always double-check information before
relying on it.)
Races and Competitions:
River Festivals and Rendezvous.
Conventions, meetings, and classes:
(To post an announcement of a Montana river event you are
organizing, click to go to:
Rendezvous--State River News--Montana River Events. The
webmaster will subsequently integrate your information into the
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