Close Call for Vice-Chair Vermillion
Commissioner Vermillion was run through the ringer last week first losing his seat and then regaining it, in what turned out to be a political showdown in Helena.  Check out these articles as reported by the Billings Gazette to catch up on the story:
Part 1:

Senate denies Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commissioner Dan Vermillion a second term

April 26, 2011

In what was mainly a party-line vote, Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commissioner Dan Vermillion of Livingston was denied a second term on a 24-26 vote by the Senate on Tuesday.

Vermillion, vice chairman of the commission, represented District 2 in southwestern Montana.

On the same day, by a 44-6 vote, the Senate approved A.T. “Rusty” Stafne, of Wolf Point, to a four-year term on the commisison. He will replace Willie Doll as the District 4 commissioner for northeastern Montana. The five commissioners are recommended for the position by the governor.

In an email to sportsmen, Ben Lamb of the Montana Wildlife Federation, wrote, “The vote against Dan is the cap on what has been one of the most blatant assaults on the North American Model. Dan became the last pound of flesh that those who came to this Legislature to privatize our public resource were able to carve off. This vote, as political as it was, truly reflects the lack of understanding about both the commission’s job, and Dan Vermillion as a person. No one on the commission has worked as hard as Dan to reduce conflict between hunters, anglers, landowners and outfitters. No one has been as forward thinking in elk management as Dan has, and no one has been as approachable, humble, and honest as Dan.”

Sportsmen had been encouraged to lobby in support of Vermillion, but some Yellowstone County residents had reservations because of his support for more restrictive catch-and-release restrictions for trout on the Yellowstone River.

Vermillion, a former Billings attorney, runs Sweetwater Travel Co. in Livingston with his two brothers. The business matches anglers to fishing lodges around the world. A well-known fly-fishing guide, Vermillion taught President Barack Obama to fly fish during his trip to Montana.

Check out the article on line.

Part 2:

Senate turnaround confirms wildlife appointee

HELENA — The Senate renewed the term of the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission’s vice chairman after refusing his appointment at the beginning of the week.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer over the winter reappointed Dan Vermillion, a fishing guide from Livingston who taught President Barack Obama how to fly-fish.

Lawmakers on Thursday accepted Vermillion’s appointment on a 27-23 vote on their last day.

Those opposing the appointment vented plenty of anger at the department.

Several senators say they will oppose any reconfirmation bid to the commission because they believe the department has been poorly run.

Supporters of Vermillion’s confirmation said he works to resolve some of the conflict around the department.

The commission is comprised of representatives from five geographical districts who are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate.

Check out the article on line.

Congratulations Dan and keep up the good work on the Commission.

New Yellowstone River Fishing Regulations
Thanks to the Fish Wildlife and Parks Commissioners for the amendment to the Yellowstone river Fishing regulations.  This forward thinking no nonsense approach to fisheries management will certainly enhance the quality of fishing that we will experience on the Yellowstone River for years to come.
New Regulations:
Yellowstone National Park Boundary to I-90 Bridge at Billings

Combined Trout: 4 brown trout and/or rainbow trout daily and in possession, only 3 may be under 18 inches and only 1 over 26 inches. All fish between 18 and 26 inches must be released. Catch-and-release for cutthroat trout.
Open entire year.
Hook and Line: 2 lines with 2 hooks per line all year from the mouth of the Clarks Fork River to the I-90 Bridge at Billings.

TU- Yellowstone River Clean Up

Sweetwater is once again proud to be taking part in the Yellowstone River Clean Up.  This annual event put on by the Joe Brooks Trout Unlimited and Madison Gallatin Trout Unlimited is proven to be one of the great TU events of the year.    We hope that you will show up and help set a new record for the event.

For those of you that make a living on the river as a guide, outfitter or shop owner it would be wonderful to see an increase in participation.  Showing up for burgers isn’t enough!!!  Get your boat dirty and help with the great effort made by our local TU chapter.

Spawning Closures

Thanks to Daryl, Theresa, Betty, Buzz and all the folks at DePuy’s, critical spawning habitat is closed again this year throughout the spawning period at DePuy’s Spring Creek.  The two closure areas are near Eva’s Hut on the lower creek and Betty’s riffle on the upper creek.  The closed areas are marked with signs and cones, fishing is off limits between the cones.

DePuy’s Spring Creek offers critical spawning habitat for the rainbows of the Yellowstone river.  Therefore we commend the operators of the creek for the voluntary closure which allows the Rainbows to get on with the spawn without any interruptions.

Thanks Depuy’s!!!

Closure at Betty's Riffle

Cone at Eva's Hut


The Park County Environmental Council is sponsoring a free public showing of the award winning documentary film, Gasland.  Don’t miss it:

7:00 pm

Thursday March 31, 2011

Elks Lodge

2nd & Lewis



A 30-minute documentary which explores the lives of three men and their influence on three rivers: George Grant – the Big Hole, Bud Lilly – the Madison, Dan Bailey – the Yellowstone. To fully appreciate three of the world’s finest rivers, one must also understand the commitment of these three men. Award Winning Film.


Kerry Fee

Help End The Commercial Sale OF Florida Permit

Bonefish and Tarpon Unlimited are petitioning the State of Florida to end commercial fishing for Permit. Let the man know how you feel by adding your name to the petition BTU is submitting.

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