Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials and the Blackfoot Drought Response Committee will lift fishing restrictions on the Blackfoot and Little Blackfoot rivers, including all tributaries, beginning Friday, Sept. 1.
Fishing has been closed from noon until midnight since July 27 on the Little Blackfoot River. The entire Big Blackfoot has been under the same restrictions since Aug. 3, while some Blackfoot tributaries have been closed to fishing 24 hours a day. These tributaries, scheduled to reopen with the rivers on Sept. 1, include Gold, Belmont, Cottonwood, Copper, Monture Creeks, the North Fork of the Blackfoot River and Landers Fork.
Low stream flows and high water temperatures, conditions that stress fish, triggered the restrictions and closures under the Blackfoot Drought Response Plan.
The Drought Plan, developed by a broad group including irrigators, landowners, the Blackfoot Challenge, Trout Unlimited, anglers, fishing outfitters and FWP, also calls for reductions in water use as part of a “shared sacrifice” approach to conserving the river’s fishery. FWP and the Drought Response Committee would like to thank the water right holders, outfitters and anglers that observed the restrictions this year.
“Although conditions are improving, river flows are still low,” Pat Saffel, FWP Regional Fisheries Manager, says. “Anglers should quickly play and land fish, handling them as little as possible.”
No other area rivers are under fishing restrictions. For the latest information on drought and fire restrictions and closures around the state, visit FWP's website at fwp.mt.us, click on "Drought and Fire Update."