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High water impacting many Western MT fishing access sites

Posted at 3:01 PM, May 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 15:02:04-04

MISSOULA – State wildlife officials have closed the gates or created temporary barriers at many fishing access sites because of high water and flood conditions around west-central Montana.

The FASs remain open to walk-in access, but users are urged to avoid these areas and exercise extreme caution if they do get near or in the water.

The affected sites along the Clark Fork River include Schwartz Creek, Turah, Kelly Island (all access points), Kona Bridge and Harpers Bridge. The Bitterroot River sites are Hannon Memorial, Woodside Bridge and Bell Crossing. And the Blackfoot River sites are Harry Morgan, Monture Creek and
Clearwater Crossing.

Warmer temperatures and increased precipitation are driving heightened streamflow and causing portions of access sites to be under water. Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks cautions that boaters and anglers should not assume a river is the same as it was during a previous trip and should be prepared for dangers during spring high-water season.

Some water dangers across the area may include debris in water, cold water, heavy currents, logs that get lodged together and create a hazard, bridge abutments that catch debris and create swirling waves and turbid, muddy water that makes other hazards in the water difficult or impossible to see.