Module 2: Laws & Regulations

What sets Montana apart from so much of the world is its wild and recreationally rich outdoors. Montana's accessible wildness, largely intact landscapes, rich historical and cultural heritage, and diverse and abundant fish and wildlife account for its identity and renowned high quality of life. Montanans have long recognized that the fish, wildlife and state parks provide resources necessary to maintain their treasured lifestyle require stewardship and protection. Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) is responsible for managing and conserving those resources. Montana's public resources such as fish and wildlife are held in trust by the state to be managed for the benefit of present and future generations.

In order to accomplish this Montana's legislature, executive branch leadership, and its fish and wildlife commission have enacted laws and regulations to protect, enhance, and conserve these vital public resources. These laws and regulations protect habitat, maintain healthy fish and wildlife populations, provide opportunity that is allocated equitably, and looks to protect and enhance the experience safety of its users. In addition, fees collected for things such as fishing licenses, commercial use, camping, or access, directly fund MFWP and its efforts to accomplish this goal. MFWP is primarily funded through license dollars and federal grants.

  • Understand key definitions and terms related to fishing regulations
  • Become familiar with the organization of MTFWP fishing regulations and how to find answers such as catch limitations for bodies of water
  • Know the license options and who is required to have one to fish
  • Understand Stream Access Law
  • Know restrictions related to AIS and illegal transport of fish, bait, and water
  • Demonstrate knowledge of laws and regulations related to guiding

In addition to the MTFWP section, students will learn specific laws and rules pertaining to licensed outfitting and guiding as administered by the Montana Board of Outfitters. This aspect of the module will be relatively concise, outlining laws & rules regarding outfitters/guides and covering 'professional conduct" and "misconduct" that can warrant disciplinary action by the outfitter board.

Numerous individuals and sources have provided material for this module, and their contributions are acknowledged in the text and in the Resources section. This module just breaks the surface of the subject and students are encouraged to read the primary sources as part of their continuing education.

Outfitters and guides who are registered as students of the Guiding for the Future program are required to complete each module of the course. The course is available online 24/7, features short 'chapters' and includes a final test.

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(Registered Students)