Posted: Sep 4, 2013 8:29 PM by Matt Jones - MTN News
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has placed "time of day" fishing restrictions on the Dearborn River, Sun River, Smith River, and the Blackfoot River.
No fishing is allowed on the Dearborn, Sun or Smith Rivers between 2 p.m. and midnight, which is when water temperatures are the warmest.
According to fishery biologists, the water temperatures can fluctuate from 58 degrees in the morning to 73 degrees in the afternoon.
Fishing restrictions go into place once water temperatures hit 73 degrees for three consecutive days and flow levels drop below the 5th percentile.
Fisheries biologist Grant Grisak explained, "The streams that we do have angling restrictions on right now...the flows are low but they are still between the 25th and 40th percentiles so in this case we're really looking at the high water temperatures as the trigger mechanism to institute those closures."
On the Blackfoot River, officials say that there will be a 24-hour a day fishing closure on the main stem Blackfoot and important bull trout tributaries once river flows dip below 500 cfs at the Bonner USGS river flow gauge.
Flows were at 467 Tuesday, an unusually low discharge. Based upon 80 years of record, past stream flows condition exceeded this level 88 percent of the time.
The all day closure applies to the entire main stem Blackfoot River; Morrell, Gold, Belmont, Cottonwood, Copper, and Monture Creeks; the North Fork of the Blackfoot River; and Landers Fork.