BILLINGS, Mont. ─ Reclamation announces lifting the closure of Reclamation lands on and adjacent to Joe’s Island on the south side of the Yellowstone River in Dawson County, 15 miles north of Glendive, Montana. The temporary closure was in place to ensure public safety during the construction of the Lower Yellowstone Fish Passage Project. Construction of the fish passage project was recently completed, and the land closure is no longer needed. All lands located in Sections 35 and 36, Township 18 North; and Sections 1 and 2, Township 17 North all in Range 56 East will be open immediately to the public. This includes approximately 1,335 acres of Federal land consisting of Joe’s Island and 118 acres of adjacent Federal land that was used as construction staging area.
The public is reminded to check the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks hunting and fishing regulations prior to recreating on Joe’s Island or within the Intake Bypass Channel. In February 2023, the MTFWP Commission approved a new paddlefishing regulation prohibiting all paddlefish snagging activities within the Intake Bypass Channel. Paddlefishing snagging will still be allowed on both riverbanks of the Yellowstone River downstream of Intake Diversion Dam.
The Lower Yellowstone Fish Passage project was a joint project between Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to construct a replacement diversion structure in the Yellowstone River and an 11,150-foot-long bypass channel to provide fish passage for the endangered pallid sturgeon and other native species.
For further questions please contact Jack Conner with the Bureau of Reclamation at (406) 247-7300.