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Navigating the Big Hole River

A pair of fishermen negotiates the spillway at the Big Hole River pump station in a rubber raft in June 2016. High water temperatures and low flow have prompted limited fishing restrictions on area rivers. 

Fishing restrictions had been added on additional sections of the Big Hole River, the lower Ruby, lower Beaverhead, Jefferson, and lower Gallatin Rivers.

They are effective Friday, July 1, at 2 p.m. as a result of high water temperatures. The restrictions will close the following rivers to fishing daily from 2 p.m. to midnight until conditions improve:

  • Big Hole from the the mouth of the North Fork Big Hole River to Dickie Bridge
  • Big Hole from Notch Bottom Fishing Access Site to the mouth
  • Beaverhead from Anderson Lane to the mouth
  • Ruby from Duncan District Road to the mouth
  • Gallatin from Shed’s Bridge Fishing Access Site to the mouth
  • The entire length of the Jefferson River

Additional restrictions are possible in the coming weeks.

Regional Fisheries Manager Travis Horton says Fish, Wildlife and Parks is keeping close track of weather, but the main concern is for the health of the fishery.

And while FWP is putting restrictions on when people can fish these stretches of rivers, Regional Supervisor Sam Sheppard said, “These rivers are still open for a great fishing experience, anglers just need to adjust their timing so as not to cause the extra stress we’re concerned about.”

Restrictions remain in place for the following stretches of southwest Montana rivers:

  • Big Hole from Saginaw Bridge on Skinner Meadows Road to the Mouth of the North Fork Big Hole River
  • Madison River from Ennis Dam to the Mouth

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