Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will reopen to fishing the lower Beaverhead River from Anderson Lane to the mouth of the Ruby River on Thursday, Sept. 11.  That stretch of river had been closed to fishing since July 25 due to low flows, and temperatures 70 degrees or more on a daily basis for two months.

“Water temperatures have cooled significantly, and we typically see a fall-winter flow improvement in the lower river after irrigation season,” said Bruce Rich, Region 3 Fisheries Manager.  “Fishing this part of the river at this time should not be unduly harmful to fish populations, although we remind anglers to take into account the continued drought conditions and below normal streamflows throughout the drainage.”

Conversely, FWP has declared an Oct. 4 – Nov. 30 fall angling closure on the upper Beaverhead River to protect vulnerable spawning brown trout and mountain whitefish.  The closure will extend from Clark Canyon Dam to the Selway Bridge in Dillon.  The normal regulations on the river go into effect after Nov. 30.

“This is consistent with our actions of the past three years in trying to get brown trout and whitefish in this section of river through the drought with least possible impact,” Rich said.

FWP also extended the closure on the Red Rock River through Nov. 30.  The river reach between Lima and Clark Canyon Reservoir has been closed to angling since July 25 due to extreme drought conditions. 

 Dick Oswald, area fisheries biologist said flows in the Red Rock River have remained abnormally low in critical refuge reaches with little hope of improvement in the near term.  “The extension of the current closure on the Red Rock River through Nov. 30 will be consistent with past years’ efforts to afford protection to spawning brown trout and mountain whitefish," he said.  The normal winter closure on the Red Rock River is Dec.1 to the third Saturday in May.