Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks proposed a rule that would allow it to temporarily close a portion of the Bitterroot River. A hearing on that plan will be March 4 in Hamilton.

The hearing, at the Bitterroot National Forest Supervisor's Office in Hamilton, will be at 6:30 p.m. March 4th and will be to answer questions and collect comments, according to a news release from FWP.

Pat Saffel, Region 2 Fisheries Manager, said, "The proposal has caused a lot of confusion in recent weeks, both in terms of how to comment and when and why the rule would be used."

The rule affects the portion of the river containing the Supply Ditch Diversion Dam, north of Woodside. FWP would like to be able to close that section during high water levels when portage around the dam would be difficult.

Saffel said the department tries to avoid river closures of any sort, however, "the intention of the proposed rule is to give FWP a tool to quickly put a temporary closure in place only if we absolutely have to for public safety."

Plans are being developed and funding is being sought for a long term solution to the dangerous currents caused by the Supply Ditch diversion dam.

The public is invited to comment on the proposal at the FWP website.