MT Fishing Restrictions 2 p.m. to Midnight-(Flathead River Basin Could Be Next)


Fishing restrictions are on the rise in various areas in Montana. Be sure and read the following article very carefully to learn more. It seems fish are under stress and it’s best in certain areas to refrain from fishing from 2p.m. to midnight. This is a very serious matter and the health and life of the fish depends on it.

Drought and soaring temperatures have prompted state wildlife officials to restrict fishing on some of the state’s most popular lakes and streams. And, for the first time, they are considering adding them in the Flathead River basin in northwest Montana.

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The state has imposed so-called hoot-owl restrictions, which prohibit fishing between 2 p.m. and midnight. They are already in place on the Beaverhead, Bitterroot, Jefferson, Lower Madison and Sun rivers.

Below average rainfall, higher temperatures and reduced snowpack runoff have combined to leave the Flathead River levels in northwest Montana at about a third of normal.

The Region One Communication and Education Program Manager for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks – Dillon Tabish – said the state is considering hoot-owl restrictions for the Flathead too, because water temperatures are too high for the lake’s cold-water trout.

“For cutthroat trout that criteria is about 66 degrees, and then for bull trout it’s about 60 degrees,” said Tabish. “Once the temperatures in the water get to be that warm, these trout can be more susceptible to disease, predation, and other moratalities that can occur.”

The National Weather Service predicts above-average high temperatures nearing 100 degrees in parts of Montana. Mark Moran, (Public News Service)

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  1. Drought and soaring temperatures? Montana is not in a drought. It does get hot in the summer however. Hopefully the National Forest Service will start admitting that over all temperatures are currently experiencing a cooling trend. Also thanks for posting the importance of self limited fishing. It saves the experience for others. Montanans have a lot to show off in their beautiful State.


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