BILLINGS — Extended dry weather is prompting state wildlife officials to impose afternoon and evening fishing restrictions on three central Montana rivers.
The so-called hoot-owl closures begin Friday on portions of the Dearborn, Smith and Sun rivers.
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks’ drought policy calls for fishing closures when maximum daily water temperatures reach at least 73 degrees for three consecutive days.
State officials say water temperatures of 77 degrees or higher can be lethal to rainbow and brown trout, which prefer temperatures in the mid-50s.
In a related step, the state plans to tell the owners of 37 water rights in the Smith River basin that they must stop diverting water from the river. Officials say that will help protect the fishery.
Drought prompts fishing restrictions on central Montana rivers | Great Falls Tribune | greatfallstribune.com
Of course there's higher elevations in the western part of Montana, and I would guess water temps there aren't anywhere near 70 degrees ?
I sure hope the drought up that way eases off some, I know it's very severe.
Texas went thru the same sort of thing last year, and much of the state
remains in drought though we were fortunate to get relief here in the southeastern part of the state in recent months.