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Afternoon Floating in the Bitterroot River is OK – Fishing, Not So Much

bitterroot river
The Bitterroot River at sunset. (Fullerton Photo)
The Bitterroot River is low – way low for this time of year, and fishing hours are now limited on all but the East Fork and West Fork.

The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks enacted the 2 p.m. to midnight prohibition Thursday. The waters affected also include portions of the Clark Fork River. Those areas are from Perkins Lane Bridge near Warm Springs downstream to Flint Creek and then from the Clark Fork-Bitterroot confluence to the Flathead River.

The East Fork of the Bitterroot and the West Fork of the Bitterroot, south of Darby, are unaffected by restrictions.

Water temperatures have exceeded FWP criteria that call for temporary fishing restrictions. High water temperatures and lower oxygen levels can lead to fish kills, according to Pat Saffel, Region 2 Fisheries Manager. He also said further restrictions might be on the horizon.

So, the folks just wanting to float in an inner tube and cool off are still welcome anytime on the Bitterroot, but fishing poles are not.

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