Montana's stream access law under fire!! Help is needed! No on HB309!

riseform

Active Member
#46
If you read Welborn's weekly report, there's a bit of a contradiction with regard to the Mitchell Slough Case.

He first describes the bill as such:
Man made irrigation systems put into question because of the Mitchell ruling are what is being clarified and deemed private property.
And then claims it has nothing to do with the case.

First of all, this legislation isn’t about overturning the Mitchell Slough Case, fact is, I have never visited that piece of water or have any ties to it whatsoever.
I can understand being frustrated if I owned property, paid for the permit and development of an irrigation ditch to sustain my farming business and then had the public destroying the structure (at my expense) or holding me liable if they happened to drown in one of my channels. I'd be interested in knowing if either of those two issues are reality. For a rancher, this would be a very reasonable concern. For Huey Lewis, I suspect it's all about having your own private trout stream.

It seems to me if a "ditch" is navigable with easy entry and exit to a main river without harm to the landowner's structure, the public should not be prohibited from floating/fishing that water.
 

bitterroot

Love vintage graphite!
#47
His two statements are not really contradicting each other. He says that HB309 is not meant to overturn Mitchell, but to clarify it. To the best of my knowledge, you cannot recreate on an irrigation ditch in Montana. The question is: Is Mitchell Slough an irrigation ditch? Ranchers say yes, sportsmen say no. A water control device was built on Mitchell Slough back in the 1930's and ranchers say this makes it an irrigation ditch. The court ruled that, water control device or not, it is a natural flowing body of water as is evidenced by the terrain in which it flows, and they ruled in favor of the sportsmen. This pissed Huey off to no end and he wanted the Ravalli County Sheriff to arrest everyone fishing on it for trespassing, which they did NOT. Now HB309 comes along to "clarify" the courts ruling, and that is where the possible slippery slope begins.
 

freestoneangler

Not to be confused with Freestone
#48
:ray1: DON'T FORGET ABOUT THIS IMPORTANT ISSUE - PLEASE TAKE TIME TO SEND AN E-MAIL :ray1:

LET'S NOT ALLOW STREAM ACCESS LAW TO BE TAKEN AWAY DURING OUR WATCH!
Even if you only send an e-mail with "PLEASE VOTE NO ON H.B. 309" in the subject line, the more traffic they get, the more likely we will defeat this.

To help make it easier, here is a list of the Montana State Senators e-mail addresses that you can just copy and paste. :thumb:

Cvvincent@hotmail.com; Ryanzinke@yahoo.com; Tutvedt@montanasky.us; Sonjumt@yahoo.com; vjack@centurytel.net; clarity@cyberport.net; ccwhi@blackfoot.net; Shannonjaugare@aol.com; Ripleys@3rivers.net; Wranglergallery@hotmail.com; "Anders blewett" <Anders.blewett@gmail.com>; tropila@mt.net; ebuttrey@cteq.com; Lcjones@3rivers.net; jpranch@ttc-cmc.net; "Windyboy j" <Windyboy_j@yahoo.com>; hutton4senate@yahoo.com; senatorbrenden@gmail.com; Donstein@midrivers.com; elmoore@midrivers.com; apsaalookewoman@yahoo.com; Taylor@northernbroadcasting.com; Ajolson@midrivers.com; Glonky@aol.com; Kendallvandyk@gmail.com; Lyndamoss@imt.net; Garybranae@gmail.com; Jeff@jeffessmann.com; ewalker@edwalker2010.com; jason@priest2010.com; ronarthun@gmail.com; larry@imt.net; "R hawks" <R_hawks@imt.net>; Joebalyeat@yahoo.com; art@wittich4senate.com; Grt3177@smtel.com; "Steve gallus" <Steve.gallus@gmail.com>; murphter5@yahoo.com; Marycaferro@gmail.com; Kaufmann@mt.net; Davelewisd@aol.com; genev@q.com; Lakemill@montana.com; Cwilliams@montanadsl.net; Nancron@aol.com; "facey tom" <facey_tom@hotmail.com>; daveew@gmail.com; Cliff@larsenusa.com

Thanks,
freestoneangler
 
#50
Looks like we got a hearing date.

HB309, the 'Ditch Bill', is scheduled for hearing in the Senate
Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation Committee on Thursday, March
3, in Room 335 starting at 3:00 p.m.

Download the bill:
http://cts.vresp.com/c/?FishingOutfittersAss/5a9b9a1358/d270bcdbd4/b4d3791ddc -
http://cts.vresp.com/c/?FishingOutfittersAss/5a9b9a1358/d270bcdbd4/e3a6b8bd84

This FLASH is to encourage your participation when we're sure of the
hearing date; I sent it as soon as I learned the proposed hearing
date so you'd be prepared.

I'll check tomorrow to make sure the committee chairman and secretary
are firm on the hearing date; there's every chance the date can
change. Once the date is semi-firm, I'll send another FLASH with
info on how to comment.

Thanks,
 
#51
Ok guys its official......

HB309, the 'Ditch Bill', is scheduled for hearing in the Senate
Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation Committee on Thursday, March
3, in Room 335 starting at 3:00 p.m.

I talked with committee chairman Sen. Steinbeisser today and he
confirmed the hearing date, so it looks llike we're good to go!

Because the committee members are very busy now with hearings and
their own legislation, plus the fact that they're all headed home for
'Transmittal Break' (Friday, Feb. 24 thru Monday, Feb. 28), if you
send comments now, they'll probably just get lost in the press of
other details and the break.

PLEASE WAIT UNTIL TUESDAY, MARCH 1, TO SEND YOUR COMMENTS. They will
have greater effect if they're received by the committee members just
before the hearing.

I'll send out another FLASH with more details late this week or over
the weekend so you can be prepared to help FOAM express it's concerns
about HB309.
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
#55
Somebody is blowing smoke up somebody asses. I just read the regs for this year and in my area which is area 3 the Irrigation ditch's are open for fishing. Unless they are closed in as written in the regs.

Most in my area 3 which I fish are open. The ones that run year around have some big browns in them.
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
#57
Hell, I don't know. But the regs for this year are set in stone.

On another note I asked a land owner if I could fish his ditch and I got a hell yes. Some ditches have running water in them all year.around.
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
#59
Well yes, but most of them are from low warm water. Like in the middle of a very hot summer. Like two years ago and then they come out and post it at all the FAS.

Kind of hard to put it on the internet as this is Montana and there are lot of stubborn people here that don't own a computer.
 

fredaevans

Active Member
#60
On another note I asked a land owner if I could fish his ditch and I got a hell yes. Some ditches have running water in them all year.around.
Interesting you should bring up the above. Over a lot of years I've asked, can only think of one occasion where I was 'refused.' Had to do NO PROBLEM ..... BUT... To get to the river you had to cross through a pasture and the fellow had a new young Bull ....... Not something I'd want to test out.
:>)
fae