The Blackfoot River, from Weigh Station Fishing Access Site to the confluence with the Clark Fork River, will not open this Saturday, May 12 as originally planned.
This stretch of river is subject to intermittent closures to all floating and walk-in use over the next few years for safety as reconstruction work on the Interstate 90 bridge piers continues.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Montana Department of Transportation say that although there is an upcoming break in construction activity in the immediate area, safety remains an issue. High water has raised the river level much closer to the temporary construction platform under the bridge, providing for limited clearance.
FWP says that a reopening date will be based on river levels subsiding enough to allow for floater passage under the construction platform and any other construction-related safety concerns. Floaters and others should check the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov for updates, and river access sites immediately upstream of the closure area are signed with closure information.
In addition, FWP cautions that the Blackfoot and other area rivers are running at extremely high flows right now. River levels continue to rise, and flows are already greater than average spring runoffs that floaters are used to experiencing. High flows cause large trees and debris to be dislodged and sent down the river, often creating hidden dangers beneath the water’s surface, as well as many other safety concerns.
(via MT FWP; feature photo via kenterphotography.com)