WEST YELLOWSTONE – A portion of Red Rock Creek near the Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge has been closed to fishing due to low stream flows.
The closure extends for about 18 miles along Red Rock Creek from Upper Red Rock Lake upstream to the South Valley Road crossing over Hell Roaring Creek.
Flows at a U.S. Geological Survey gauge above the lakes has fallen near and below the fifth percentile of average daily flows, meeting the established criteria for a fishing closure. Moreover, recent fish surveys estimate the population of Arctic grayling in the closure area to consist of only 88 adult fish.
This closure is designed to protect fish, including Arctic grayling and trout, that become more susceptible to disease and mortality when drought conditions combine with additional stressors, including catch-and-release fishing.
The closure will remain in effect until conditions improve, or until Oct 15.
Additional fishing closures and restrictions are in effect for other waters in Montana. For more information, please visit go.usa.gov/xF3PG.
All stress to fish at this time of year is cumulative, and anglers should consider fishing in cooler waters during times of low flows and high water temperatures in rivers. Anglers can help reduce stress for fish by following these practices when catching and releasing fish, though fish mortality may still occur:
- Fish during the coolest times of day, where permitted.
- Land the fish quickly.
- Keep the fish in water as much as possible.
- Remove the hook gently. Using artificial lures with single and barbless hooks can make hook removal faster and easier.
- Let the fish recover before releasing it.