The recent (July 10th) funnel cloud storm produced much needed precipitation around much of southwest Montana. As a result, MT FWP regional supervisor Sam sheppard has lifted Hoot Owl restrictions on the lower (Section V) Big Hole River. On July 10th the storm hit southwest Montana, flows at Maiden Rock were at about 540cfs. The resulting rain and hail bumped the river to 850 cfs which has cooled the water enough to lift the Hoot Owl restrictions on section V.
The MT FWP information release for today July 13, 2016: WATERBODY RESTRICTIONS, CLOSURES & REOPENINGS – REGION 3
(Bozeman)-Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is alerting the public that angling restrictions on the Lower Big Hole River are being lifted effective Thursday, July 14 as a result of cooler weather and recent precipitation. Restrictions remain in place on the lower Gallatin, East Gallatin, and Jefferson Rivers for the near future.
The Hoot Owl restrictions being lifted Thursday are limited to the following section of the Big Hole River:
- The Big Hole from Notch Bottom Fishing Access Site to the confluence of the Big Hole River with the Jefferson River
Regional Supervisor Sam Sheppard says in spite of recent cooler temperatures and some much-needed precipitation biologists are keeping a close eye on all area rivers as we expect to continue to see above average temperatures and low flows beginning next week.
“We are committed to following the drought plan developed in collaboration with the Big Hole Watershed Committee. We will continue to lift and put in place angling restrictions based on current temperature and flow conditions. This is what is in the best interest of the resource.”
For more current information on restrictions related to drought, visit Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks.
While the river is still a bit dirty, it is dropping and clearing every day and fishing is improving as it does. For more information on the Big Hole River, and guided fishing trips on the Big Hole River, visit Fishtales Outfitting.