MISSOULA – State wildlife officials have announced that some sites have been reopened as the flood waters in and around Missoula continue to fall.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials say that the waters have receded enough to reopen all west-central Montana fishing access sites (FASs), Council Grove State Park and the Blackfoot River, from Weigh Station to the confluence with the Clark Fork.
However, the Clark Fork River, from Reserve Street Bridge to the upstream boundary of Kelly Island FAS, remains closed to all floating, swimming, angling and other recreation, due to dangers caused by downed power lines in the river.
Some river access sites are not yet open to vehicles, due to continued flooding and related cleanup activities. FAS’s with walk-in only access include Monture, Harry Morgan, Bell Crossing, Sha-Ron and Kelly Island’s Mullan Road access.
The Blackfoot River, from Weigh Station Fishing Access Site to the confluence with the Clark Fork River opened Monday after an extended closure related to construction work on the Interstate 90 bridge piers. More construction-related safety closures are expected for this stretch of river later this summer.
Although many access sites are open again, FWP cautions that high water and its associated safety concerns continue.
Recreationists should watch out for dangers during spring high-water season that include:
- heavy debris load in water that is often hidden under the surface
- rapidly changing water levels
- extremely cold water
- heavy currents
- logs that get lodged together and create a hazard
- flooded roadways
- bridge abutments that catch debris and create swirling waves
- turbid, muddy water that makes other hazards in the water difficult or impossible to see