The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission was unanimous in denying a petition to change restrictions on hovercraft in the Bitterroot River and a portion of the Clark Fork River. The commission considered a request by Jim Crews of Stevensville to allow more than a 20-horsepower limit for motors on the waterway and would allow hovercraft to be on the river in the fall and winter months.

The rule change was opposed by Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks staff members, Montana Wildlife Federation and the Bitterroot Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Some of the reasons dealt with possible conflict between motorized and non-motorized users of the rivers. The commission made the ruling Monday, January 6, at a short meeting in Helena.