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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 08-10-2013, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: How are the water levels?

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Originally Posted by yonder View Post
I'm with Jim here.........I am concerned with a 100 mile radius of West Yellowstone........I like to fish, but I will not risk the catch......just for the reward...........coming out sept. 7 to the 13........any input would be greatly appreciated........
I don't 'think' it's that bad out this way. Maybe Missoula area is taking it harder, it's warmer over there, and much lower in elevation.. the 100mile radius.. you have many options.. the only closures.. the Jefferson, that gets hit hard from irrigation, and the Lower Madison... ands they're probably not usually targets for out-of-staters anyways
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 08-10-2013, 10:56 PM
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Default Re: How are the water levels?

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Originally Posted by jimbaker488 View Post
But I understand that as we get into September we can expect relief from high temps, but what about the stream water levels ? Do you expect them to be higher simply because there's less draw-down from irrigation in September, because that area won't be getting any significant precip until later on from winter snows, right ?
I seem to remember hearing or reading that irrigators like long, warm, dry summers as long as they can get water. If it stays warm and sunny late into the year they can get an extra cutting of hay in.
If conditions are right they can keep taking water longer than is typical for "normal" weather conditions.
Just from memory I don't think they typically start closing headgates until around mid September.
If it stays warm and sunny it could be more like the end of Sept.

If anyone has a more accurate understanding of irrigation practices feel free to dispute the above, it's just what I remember reading and hearing about.

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Originally Posted by yonder View Post
I'm with Jim here.........I am concerned with a 100 mile radius of West Yellowstone........I like to fish, but I will not risk the catch......just for the reward...........coming out sept. 7 to the 13........any input would be greatly appreciated........
The Yellowstone should be fine. As will be the upper Madison and the Henry's fork.
No matter what, the nights will be longer and colder by September.
Things are already cooling off and hopefully the worst of the high temps are behind us.
Creeks in the park may be low but they should be getting pretty cold at night by mid September. The Madison and the Gibbon may be fishing well by then.
The northeast corner will be low but should be plenty cool by then, could be great terrestrial fishing at that time.

I think there's a good chance the Big Hole will close this year. The cut off is 150cfs at Melrose for the Maidenrock stretch. It's running at 195cfs right now.
If we can just get some decent storms here and there it might not drop below the mark.
If it does close they usually stop irrigating earlier in the upper Big Hole valley since it's high and cold up there.
I seem to remember it being open again by late September when it closed in the worst of the drought years.

Last edited by blackbugger; 08-10-2013 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:53 AM
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Default Re: How are the water levels?

I have a trip to Melrose planned for the 4th of October. Keeping the fingers crossed at this point.
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Old 08-11-2013, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: How are the water levels?

Jim and Yonder: I don't think you have to worry too much. First, as Dave pointed the 100 mile ring around West is much different than here in Missoula. The elevation is greater and fall generally comes sooner there. As for September in general, the past 5 years or so it seems like our climate is about a month later than it "used to" be. Mid September used to be a safe bet for nice cold nights and warm days, but it's been hot and nasty the last few years. The saving grace is that the nights will still be cool to cold, the days just aren't long enough even when it hits 90 to raise the water temps enough. It's weird man.

Dan, I am not worried at all yet about the BH trip in October. Even with low water, by then it is down right cold at night there. Frozen boots in the morning is the norm. It won't be closed in October...I can't make promises of course, but if it is ... well, well I don't even know how to end that! Don't fret buddy, there will be good fishing in October, on the Big Hole I'm certain, but if not somewhere else close enough. BTW, Spent the night on cutty crick last night, it's low but cold enough to give you painful feet in the morning. The fish are healthy.
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: How are the water levels?

So I just checked the FWP website and the upper Big Hole was closed to fishing yesterday, 8/12. The lower river was closed July 31.

Does anyone know if and when irrigators are asked to hold back a little? I know it's a terribly contentious issue and has been for many many years. But this year is a little too reminiscent of the early 2000s.
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:55 PM
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Default Re: How are the water levels?

On the news last night (NBC) .. they said they were asking for 'co-operation' and interested in talking to irrigators

The Bitterroot looked really bad
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Old 08-12-2013, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: How are the water levels?

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On the news last night (NBC) .. they said they were asking for 'co-operation' and interested in talking to irrigators

The Bitterroot looked really bad
I haven't been down there, Dave. I'm kind of afraid to see it, it makes me so damn sad and I already have tendency for doom and gloom when comes to these issues.

If there is any solace, it's that the Bitterroot has been abused and de-watered for decades yet it somehow manages to bounce back. I'm sure the saving grace is that there are so many springs in the river for the fish to hunker down over.
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: How are the water levels?

Hey John,

Glad to see that you made it to the creek. That place is fantastic. I just wish that I was with you. Take the family or just the dogs?

The water levels are not good news for the fishermen but can you imagine what it must be like for the "old time" farmers that never had to worry about river levels to support the farm/family?

RANDOM MEMORY:

My buddy once said;

"Dan, what we need is a good plague so some of these A-Holes can be removed from the earth and the fishing would be fine"

Not a bad idea I said, however, it depends on the judge.

"Why" he asked.

Take a guess!

Just say'n

Thanks for keeping us up to date with local info guys.

Take care,
Dan
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:59 PM
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Default Re: How are the water levels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dean_mt View Post
So I just checked the FWP website and the upper Big Hole was closed to fishing yesterday, 8/12. The lower river was closed July 31.

Does anyone know if and when irrigators are asked to hold back a little? I know it's a terribly contentious issue and has been for many many years. But this year is a little too reminiscent of the early 2000s.
This is from the Big Hole River Drought Management Plan pdf that I couldn't figure out how to link to...weird. Just google it and click on the pdf if you want to read the whole thing.

III. Dickie Bridge to Melrose Bridge

Flows: Monitored at USGS Melrose Gauge

260 cfs DNRC and FWP officials meet with BHWC to present data; formulate options including the voluntary reduction of irrigation, municipal water use, and angling; and prepare to take action. A phone tree is initiated to advise irrigators and outfitters of stream flow conditions.

200 cfs Notice to outfitters and anglers requesting they voluntarily limit their angling activities to earlier, cooler hours of the day. The phone tree will inform local water users, anglers and outfitters of stream flow conditions. The media will be contacted and news articles released to inform public of low flow conditions.

140 cfs FWP will close the river to fishing and not conduct electrofishing surveys.
Voluntary reduction of irrigation and water use is initiated. A phone tree and
media releases inform water users, outfitters, anglers, and public of the
continued decline of in stream flows and encourages water conservation. The
river will remain closed until flows exceed 200 cfs for seven consecutive days.
Temperature triggers are the same as previous Reach.
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old 08-13-2013, 04:40 AM
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Default Re: How are the water levels?

Totally different river, but fishing conditions, and fish numbers, are excellent here on the Rogue River. We even have early Fall King Salmon showing up in the Steelhead mix.

Hummer's take the same flies as the Steelhead so you have no idea what's on the end of your line when you feel the 'tug.' You'll figure that out in about three seconds.
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