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Hoot Owl restrictions in place on lower Big Hole River

Posted at 1:52 PM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 15:54:19-04

BIG HOLE - Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) have implemented a daily “Hoot-Owl” fishing closure for the lower Big Hole River to reduce fish stress and mortality from 2 p.m. to midnight.

The move came after three days of water temperatures in the 70s.

"When somebody catches a fish in those high water temperatures basically, we have a much higher probability that that fish is going to die even if it’s released," noted Big Hole River Fisheries biologist Jim Olsen.

The rule will be in place from the confluence with the Beaverhead River to the Notch Bottom Fishing Access Site.

FWP is urging people to fish during the coolest times of the day.

Also, keep the fish in the water as much as possible and let the fish recover before releasing it.