Montana FWP extends appeal for morning-only fishing

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FWP extends appeal for morning-only fishing

By the Associated Press

Trout stressed by long ought still need a break

HELENA - A call for anglers on 15 rivers to fish only in the mornings will be prolonged because Montana's lingering drought is hard on wild trout, the state fish and wildlife agency said Wednesday.

Compliance is voluntary.

"The health and survival of the wild trout in these rivers is a concern and we want anglers to know that they can help conserve this wild resource," said Larry Peterman, fisheries manager for the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

In June the department issued the first in a series of advisories for mornings-only fishing. The number of advisories grew to 15, all of them extended Wednesday. They had been set to expire Thursday

"When we created the plan, we thought the 30th (of August) would be a good day to lift it, based on typical weather patterns," Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Tom Palmer said. "But with this weather pattern it doesn't look like there's relief in sight, so we'll keep them (advisories) on until conditions get better."

Rivers covered by the appeal for mornings-only fishing include the Blackfoot, East Gallatin, Thompson Smith, St. Regis, Stillwater and Shields.

Also covered are the Madison River below Ennis Dam; the Missouri from Headwaters State Park to Canyon Ferry Reservoir; the Big Hole below Dickey Bridge; the Yellowstone downstream from Yellowstone National Park; the Sun River below Gibson Reservoir; the Beaverhead below Park Street Bridge; the Boulder below Natural Bridge; and the Gallatin below the U.S. 191 bridge.

This month, Fish, Wildlife and Parks closed fishing on 47 miles of the Big Hole River and on all of the Jefferson River.

In addition to extending the advisories, Fish, Wildlife and Parks continues to recommend stream anglers choose locations at elevations above 6,000 feet, where water flows and temperatures generally are more favorable.

In another matter related to the drought, Fish, Wildlife and Parks has called on 13 water users to stop diverting water. They obtain it from drainages of the Musselshell, East Gallatin and Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone rivers. The users' water rights are superseded by water rights of the fish and wildlife agency.

Most holders of water rights in Montana have rights that supersede Fish, Wildlife and Parks' rights, the agency said.
 
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