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This Week in Fish and Wildlife: Many area rivers are running too warm

Hoot Owl restrictions and closures noted
Posted at 10:52 AM, Jul 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-01 12:52:03-04

BOZEMAN — On today's This Week in Fish and Wildlife, I talked with Morgan Jacobsen about some closures and Hoot Owl closures on area rivers.

Jacobsen says many area rivers are running too warm in the afternoons, and the waters are low leading to excessive stress on the fish. Jacobsen says some area rivers have run over 73 degrees for three consecutive days forcing these closures.

The restrictions include what are commonly known as “Hoot Owl” closures, which means fishing is closed from 2 p.m. to midnight and some full fishing closures. The closures and restrictions will stay in effect until conditions improve.

The closures and hoot owl restrictions include:

  • Beaverhead River hoot owl restrictions from the mouth to Laknar Lane Bridge;
  • Smith River hoot owl restrictions from the confluence of the North and South Fork of the Smith River to Eden Bridge south of Great Falls;
  • Shields River full fishing closure from the mouth to Rock Creek;
  • Lower Big Hole River hoot owl restrictions from the confluence with the Beaverhead River to Notch Bottom FAS;
  • Upper Big Hole River full fishing closure from Saginaw Bridge on Skinner Meadow Road to the North Fork Big Hole River;
  • Jefferson River entire river hoot owl restrictions;
  • Sun River hoot owl restrictions from the mouth of Muddy Creek to the Highway 287 Bridge.

Jacobsen says the closures and restrictions will stay in effect until conditions improve.