Applications to float the Smith River are now being accepted by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Applications must be received by February 14th when permits will be awarded by lottery.
According to FWP, nearly 11,000 people applied to float the Smith River last year, but only about 1,200 permits are actually issued.
Smith River State Park Manager Colin Maas said the permit system is important because only about 20 percent of the land along the river is public and permits help to prevent overcrowding.
He also explained that only about 500-600 permits are used because of weather and river level conditions.
If your permit application proves unsuccessful there is a last chance option.
“This is the 8th year in a row that we’ve offered what we call our super permit and that’s just one individual permit that we give out,” said Maas. “To apply for that permit we sell chances for $5 a piece, an unlimited number of chances and that drawing will be conducted after the general lottery permit drawing so it gives folks about another 2 – 2 and a half weeks to purchase chances for the super permit.”
To apply for a general lottery permit you can go to your nearest regional FWP office or fill out the application online: http://stateparks.mt.gov/smith-river/default.html?tab=permit#permitSectionHeader
Maas said Smith River State Park is the only multi-day float trip in Montana that requires a state permit.
-Reported by Joe Huisinga/MTN News