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Entries in Montana fishing (2)


Dry weather brings fishing restrictions to Clark Fork watershed

(MISSOULA)- With water levels continuing to drop, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is being forced to impose restrictions to help ease pressure on fish stocks in several popular rivers. 

The cutbacks, commonly known as "hoot owl" restrictions because fishing is limited to early morning hours, will go into effect on Friday.

FWP biologists have been worried about rapidly dropping water levels on area rivers for the past several weeks. Some streamflows are already down to August levels, and coupled with air temperatures far above normal, is bringing a rise in temperatures that's critical to fish habitat.  

In some cases, water temperatures have been above 70-degrees, or nearly 20-degrees above the point some species need to get through the hotter summer days. Biologists have already had evidence of some fish kills because of the warmer water. 

The hoot owl conditions restrict all fishing between 2 p.m. and midnight to ease angling pressure on the fish stocks.

The closures cover all of the Bitterroot and Blackfoot rivers, as well as the Clark Fork from the headwaters in the Deer Lodge Valley downstream to the Flathead River confluence near Paradise. Additionally, the restrictions impact Flint Creek, and upper Silver Bow Creek which are also tributaries of the Clark Fork. 


Low river levels lead to appeals to conserve Western MT water

Much of the Bitterroot's riverbed is now dry, although flows continue in the mail channel- Dennis Bragg photo(MISSOULA)- With river levels continuing to plunge to some of the lowest levels in decades, a local group is urging people to take steps to conserve water use in the coming weeks.

The Bitterroot, Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers are already hitting levels usually not seen until several weeks from now. And that's raising concerns about how bad conditions could get before the fall rains arrive.

The Clark Fork Coalition is urging people to respect fishing restrictions imposed by the state and to carefully consider how they're using water at home the next few weeks. They're also urging fishermen to do their angling early in the day, perhaps going to high country lakes instead of rivers, and being sure to release fish quickly to prevent them from being stressed with the higher water temperatures.