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  • Montana Outdoor News



    Fishing Restricted to Coolest Part of the Day on Parts of Bitterroot, Clark Fork
    Location: Montana


    In an effort to protect fish from the stress of low stream flows and high water temperatures, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will prohibit fishing from 2p.m. until midnight on parts of the Clark Fork and all of the Bitterroot Rivers, excluding the East and West Forks, beginning Thursday, July 25.

    The waters affected by the 2p.m.-midnight closure on the Clark Fork include the stretch from Perkins Lane Bridge near Warm Springs downstream to Flint Creek and then from the Clark Fork-Bitterroot confluence just west of Missoula downstream to the Flathead River. On the Bitterroot, fishing is prohibited from 2p.m.-midnight on the entire length of the river, excluding the East and West Forks.

    Water temperatures on the affected streams have exceeded FWP criteria for temporary fishing restrictions, a tool used to help reduce the impact on drought-stressed fish.

    Pat Saffel, FWP Region 2 Fisheries Manager says that drought-like conditions, which often occur in Montana in late July and August, can stress wild trout and other fish. Prolonged high water temperatures and lower oxygen levels can lead to fish kills that can affect fish numbers in future years.

    “We’re monitoring temperatures on other western Montana rivers and will implement further restrictions if necessary,” Saffel says. “Anglers on all rivers can reduce fish stress by fishing only during the morning and early afternoon periods when water temperatures are at their coolest.”

    Restrictions & Closures

    Big Hole River Hoot Owl Fishing Restriction starting 07/22/2013 Mandatory Drought Closure - 2 PM to Midnight Upper Big Hole River - Headwaters to Dickey Bridge (7/18/2013)

    Hoot Owl Fishing Restrictions starting 07/25/13 Mandatory Drought Closure - 2 PM to Midnight Lower Big Hole River from Notch Bottom FAS to Mouth (7/23/2013)

    Bitterroot River Hoot Owl Fishing Restrictions starting 07/25/13 Mandatory Drought Closure - 2 PM to Midnight Entire Bitterroot River (7/23/2013)

    Clark Fork River Hoot Owl Fishing Restrictions starting 07/25/13 Mandatory Drought Closure - 2 PM to Midnight Perkins Lane Bridge to Flint Creek, & the Clark Fork River from its confluence with the Bitterroot River to its confluence with the Flathead River. (7/23/2013)

    EMERGENCY CLOSURE OF PORTION OF CLARK FORK RIVER Mandatory Waterbody Closure The Clark Fork River and its banks are closed to floating, swimming, wading, fishing, and boating from Big Eddy Fishing Access Site to US Forest Service Slowey Campground as signed. (7/16/2013)

    Dearborn River Hoot Owl Fishing Restriction starting 07/22/2013 Mandatory Drought Closure - 2 PM to Midnight Dearborn River - From Highway 434 Bridge downstream 41 miles to the confluence with the Missouri River north of Craig, MT. (7/19/2013)

    Jefferson River Hoot Owl Fishing Restrictions starting 07/25/13 Mandatory Drought Closure - 2 PM to Midnight Entire Jefferson River (7/23/2013)

    Madison River Hoot Owl Fishing Restriction starting 07/22/2013 Mandatory Drought Closure - 2 PM to Midnight Madison River-from Ennis Dam to Mouth (7/18/2013)

    Smith River Hoot Owl Fishing Restriction starting 07/22/2013 Mandatory Drought Closure - 2 PM to Midnight Smith River from Eden Bridge to the confluence of North and South Forks of the Smith River. (7/19/2013)

    Sun River Hoot Owl Fishing Restriction starting 07/22/2013 Mandatory Drought Closure - 2 PM to Midnight Sun River from Mouth of Muddy Creek to Highway 287 (7/19/2013)


    News Source: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks - Jul. 24, 2013

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