BOZEMAN—Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will now be imposing a full closure to fishing on the Big Hole River from Melrose Bridge to Notch Bottom Fishing Access Site (southeast of Glen) effective Tuesday, August 20, until conditions improve.
Flows on this stretch of the Big Hole have reached, and dropped below 150 cubic feet per second – the trigger listed in the Big Hole River Drought Management Plan as the point of full fishing closure. The Drought Management Plan was the result of collaboration between landowners, recreationists and FWP as a means to protect the fishery during dry years.
Here’s a look at the extent of current closures and restrictions on the Big Hole River:
Headwaters to the mouth of the North Fork Big Hole – FULL CLOSURE
Mouth of the North Fork Big Hole to Dickie Bridge – Closed 2 p.m. to midnight
Melrose Bridge to the mouth (confluence with Jefferson River) – FULL CLOSURE
In addition, in Region 3, the entire Jefferson and Lower Madison River remain under “hoot owl” closures (2 p.m. to midnight).
FWP biologists will continue to monitor all southwest Montana rivers to ensure the health of local fish populations. FWP appreciates the patience of the angling community.
Outfitters and anglers can stay up to date on all emergency angling restrictions by going to the FWP home page at fwp.mt.gov and selecting Drought & Fire under the Hot Topics heading.
(Report by Montana FWP; Cover Photo: backcountryangler.com)