Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will reopen the last closed segment of the Yellowstone River south of Livingston to all uses Friday.
The segment set to reopen – a 17.2 mile reach from Emigrant Fishing Access Site to Pine Creek Fishing Access Site – was hardest hit by the fish kill primarily affecting the river’s Mountain Whitefish population. FWP crews have been closely monitoring the river and have not seen new mortality in this or other reaches of the Yellowstone.
With this reopening, FWP wants to the public to be aware that should new cases of dead or dying fish in the Yellowstone be observed in upcoming surveys, the possibility to close the Yellowstone again remains. The Fisheries team is concerned especially about the potential impact on Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout, a species of concern in Montana.
FWP appreciates the patience and understanding of the affected communities, businesses, and recreationists during the closure and into the future.
With the reopening, Gov. Steve Bullock also extended his appreciation to the publicThursday.
“I want to thank all Montanans and visitors for their ongoing support as we protect Montana jobs and the health of the Yellowstone River, one of the last, great, free-flowing rivers in the United States.”
Earlier this week, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced it is offering low-interest federal loans to help businesses affected by the closure of the Yellowstone. The SBA declared the Yellowstone event a disaster following a request from Gov. Bullock.
More information on the Yellowstone fish kill can be found at http://fwp.mt.gov/news/newsReleases/headlines/nr_4278.html.
FWP also reminds recreationists to Clean. Drain. Dry as this mantra is the key to preventing the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species and other harmful organisms.
(via Montana FWP)