Brett French reports: FWP proposal would lift Yellowstone River waterfowl closure
By angelamontana

Posted: March 14, 2024

A proposal before the Fish and Wildlife Commission would lift a 66-year-old waterfowl hunting closure along an 87-mile stretch of the Yellowstone River. The closure was enacted in 1958 when geese and duck populations were struggling. The no-hunting zone extends from the mouth of the Bighorn River downstream to the Rosebud-Custer county line. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks attempted to lift the restriction in the 1970s but was sued by landowners along the closed section of river for not providing enough public notice of the change. The idea was considered again in the early 2000s but never advanced. Public comments on the proposal are being taken until March 28. Arguments for keeping the river closed mainly focus on the effect opening the river could have on hunting geese in adjacent fields. Proponents for opening the river state there’s already lots of river traffic and no biological reason to keep it closed since waterfowl populations are strong. For more, check out my story at

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