(HELENA, Mont.)—An 18-mile stretch of the Big Hole River will close entirely to fishing effective Thursday. Fishing will be prohibited all day every day from the Notch Bottom Fishing Access Site to the river’s confluence with the Beaverhead River (this section had previously been under hoot owl restrictions).
This mandatory closure is in accordance with the Big Hole Watershed Committee Drought Plan which calls for full fishing closures when flows have fallen below 100 cubic feet per second. This section of the Big Hole hit this trigger for closure this week as measured at a USGS gauge near Twin Bridges.
Closures of this nature are put in place to protect fish species like Arctic grayling, Rainbow and Brown trout which become more susceptible to disease and mortality when conditions like low flows combine with additional stressors.
This section of river will reopen when flows average above 200 cubic feet per second for seven consecutive days, but no later than October 31.
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