Whitefish is looking to petition Fish, Wildlife, and Parks to turn a stretch of the Whitefish River into the state's first non-motorized urban waterway. The petition seeks to prohibit motorized watercraft from traveling a six-mile stretch of the river from the railroad trestle to Highway 40.
Sonny Schierl of Paddlefish Sports tells NBC Montana he's noticed an uptick in folks who use canoes or standup paddleboards on the river. Eliminating motorized watercrafts could keep the waters calm for recreators.
"The [BNSF] cleanup just did really beautify the river. There's a couple of people that have homes there that might like motorized vehicles but for the most part I think everyone would be on board with the silent sports being on the riverway," said Schierl.
The Whitefish River within city limits has been a no-wake zone since 1989.