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Several Southwest Montana rivers under 'hoot-owl' fishing restrictions

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks have put hoot-owl fishing restrictions on several rivers in Southwest Montana
Big Hole River
Posted at 10:59 AM, Jul 10, 2024

HELENA — State wildlife officials have placed "hoot-owl" fishing restrictions on several Southwest Montana rivers as our hot weather continues.

The rules, which went into effect on Wednesday, July 10, mean that fishing is not allowed between 2 p.m. and midnight. The restrictions are in place until further notice.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks says the waterways impacted include the Big Hole, Beaverhead, Jefferson, Madison, Ruby and Sun rivers, as well as the Clark Fork River and Silver Bow Creek.

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FWP implemented hoot-owl restrictions for the following locations:

  • Big Hole River: From the Saginaw Bridge on Skinner Meadows Road to the confluence with the North Fork of the Big Hole River. From from the Tony Schoonen Fishing Access Site to the confluence with the Beaverhead River.
  • Beaverhead River: From Highway 41 near East Bench Road to the confluence with the Big Hole River.
  • Jefferson River: From the confluence of the Big Hole and Beaverhead rivers to the Missouri River.
  • Madison River: Lower section, from the Warm Springs Fishing Access Site to the confluence with the Jefferson River. Above Hebgen Lake, from Hebgen lake to the Yellowstone National Park boundary.
  • Ruby River: From the confluence with the Beaverhead River to Duncan District Road.
  • Sun River: From the mouth of Muddy Creek to the Highway 287 bridge.
  • Clark Fork River: From its headwaters to the confluence with Rock Creek.
  • Silver Bow Creek: Its entirety

FWP noted in a news release that fishing restrictions are put in place when water levels fall below critical levels for fish, when water quality is impacted or when maximum daily water temperatures reach at least 73º for three consecutive days.
The latest information on restrictions on waterbodies in Montana can be found here.