GREAT FALLS – The permit lottery results to float Smith River State Park in 2023 are now available online on FWP’s website. In addition to the online results, successful applicants will be notified via email. Links within the email will allow permit holders to download and print their float permit, as well as access important and detailed information regarding their upcoming Smith River float. Permits are required to float the iconic 59-mile stretch of the Smith River, which is celebrated for its spectacular scenery, remote location and excellent trout fishing.

The number of applications received this year was down slightly from 2022, with 14,497 applicants who were awarded a total of 1,470 float permits for launch dates between April 1 and Oct. 31. Montana residents drew 902 float permits, while nonresidents drew 568 permits. Every date between April 1 and Aug. 21 had all available permits allocated. The Smith River is typically floatable from mid-April to mid-July.

For applicants who were unsuccessful in the regular permit drawing, Smith River Super Permit chances are available through March 23 for $5 each. One Super Permit winner will be allowed to launch on any date of their choosing. Chances may be purchased at FWP’s online licenses service webpage. The Super Permit drawing will be held on March 29.

Floaters may also call the Smith River Reservation and Information Line at 406-454-5861 beginning Monday, March 6, to request any remaining launch dates or cancelled permits. The call line will be open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to noon.

Floaters should be aware of the following items this year:

  • Floater registration will occur via phone, two days in advance of each scheduled launch date. In addition, the river rangers will assign a one-hour time interval for each float group to approach the boat ramp to launch.
  • Camp Baker is now a day-use only site, with no overnight camping allowed, except for the period of Sept. 1 through Nov. 30.
  • Pit toilets will continue to be provided in 2023 and floaters will not be required to pack-out human waste. Beginning in 2024, it is anticipated that mandatory human waste pack-out will be required.

For more information about Smith River State Park visit the FWP website.

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