Recreation - Region 5
Thursday, July 28, 2011
BILLINGS — While cleanup of spilled oil along the Yellowstone River continues, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is advising recreational boaters stay off of the river between the Laurel and Lockwood highway bridges to accommodate work crews.
Since an ExxonMobil pipeline carrying crude oil broke east of the Highway 310 bridge at Laurel July 1, cleanup crews have been working in and around the river. Spring runoff continued to recede this week and the cleanup effort has grown to 980 workers, some of who are working from more than 40 jet boats.
Recreational boaters who are not directly employed by the cleanup effort risk inadvertently interfering with cleanup work or spreading oil residue. FWP is asking them to stay away from the river between the Laurel and Lockwood highway bridges.
In addition, some work crews are moving into the stretch of river from Lockwood to Pompeys Pillar. Boaters are advised to use extreme caution is that water and give a wide berth to cleanup boats and workers.
Public access to the cleanup areas is limited because of flood-damaged or closed fishing access sites.
People with additional questions about the oil spill may call the governor’s
information line at 406-657-0231, go to the information office at 424 Morey Street in Billings or visit www.yellowstoneriveroilspill.mt.gov on the Internet.