Hoot Owl Restrictions in SW Montana
By angelamontana

Posted: July 20, 2017

Here are the first “hoot owl” restrictions to arrive in southwestern Montana. They are coming two weeks later than they did in each of the last two years but are likely to remain for some time, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

High temperatures and low flows have triggered partial fishing closures on a half-dozen rivers in southwestern Montana.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced that fishing would be closed from 2 p.m. to midnight starting Wednesday on portions of the Big Hole, lower Madison, lower Gallatin, the East Gallatin and the entire Jefferson rivers. The restrictions will remain until conditions improve, and more restrictions could come.

Travis Horton, FWP’s regional fisheries manager, said in a news release that though the region has benefited from a good winter snowpack and good river flows, “temperatures are high and could stay that way for a while.”

The affected river sections are as follows:

  • Big Hole River from Saginaw Bridge on Skinner Meadows Road to the Mouth of the North Fork Big Hole River
  • Big Hole River from Notch Bottom Fishing Access Site to the confluence with the Beaverhead River
  • Lower Beaverhead River from Anderson Lane to the confluence with the Big Hole River
  • Lower Madison River from Ennis Dam to the mouth
  • Lower Gallatin River from Shed’s Bridge to the confluence with the Madison River at Three Forks
  • East Gallatin River from Spring Hill Road Bridge to the confluence with the main Gallatin River
  • The entire Jefferson River
(Feature photo via Bow River Trout Foundation)