Several Montana Rivers See Fishing Restrictions Go Into Effect Today
All of a sudden, we have hit our first stretch of hot weather this summer, and the forecast doesn’t look like it is going to let up anytime soon. With streamflows dropping, and water temperatures starting to climb quickly, we are going to see a significant number of fishing restrictions put in place.
As a general rule of thumb, Trout are happiest when the water temperature is below 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 Celsius) When the temperatures rise into the 60s, the stress on trout rises, and when a trout is hooked in high temperatures, it only adds more stress, and in turn increases mortality rates.
This time of year always carry a stream thermometer, if the water temperature ever reaches 67 degrees (or higher) stop fishing immediately. It is also a good habit to start acting like hoot owl restrictions are in place, even if they aren’t YET in your area. Hoot Owl restrictions prohibit fishing each day from 2 pm until midnight, the hottest hours of the day. You can check the latest temperature readings around the state HERE. As you look at that list of those current temperatures, do not fish in any of the locations that show 19 degrees Celsius or higher.
You can also check the current up-to-date restrictions on the FWP website. This will show you rivers, and river sections, that are under hoot owl restrictions, as well as rivers that are shut down to fishing.
The Beaverhead, Jefferson, Bitterroot, Yellowstone, Sun, and Lower Madison Rivers all have Hoot Owl restrictions that go into effect today. Meaning fishing is closed on all or parts of each river, from 2 pm - midnight. See the full details of each river restriction HERE.
With the hot temperatures ahead of us, that list will only grow.