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Bitterroot River Section Opens Monday – Caution Urged

Woodside warning sign
Warning sign for floaters at Woodside Access. (Fullerton Photo)
The Bitterroot river has been closed in the area of the Supply Ditch Diversion Dam, about 3 miles downstream from Woodside.

The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks will re-open that stretch Monday, July 7. The area is between the Woodside Fishing Access Site and the Tucker Crossing Fishing Access site.

However,the Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office is advising floaters to follow the signs for a portage around the dam. The portage leads to the left (west) side of the river. The low-head dam has dangerous back currents that have put many people into dangerous situations in the past years, including a fatality last year.

The Bitterroot River is statistically one of the most dangerous rivers in the state, according to Sheriff Chris Hoffman. He said the high water season has lasted longer than usual this year, and has added obstacles like fallen trees, exposed tree roots and eroded riverbanks.

He advised people to wear lifejackets, scout the river ahead for obstacles and never over-estimate their river skills.

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