At 199 cfs, Section III of the Big Hole River (Dickie Bridge to MFWP Maiden Rock FAS) has hit “Conservation” criteria in accordance with the Big Hole River Drought Management Plan. This is a big deal – and not in a good way – because this section rarely hits drought triggers as it benefits from geology that forces water from the riparian zone into the stream channel (i.e. the canyon stretch). But this is an EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT.
At this point, we must ask all water users to do whatever possible to keep water in the river and take stress off the fishery. We urge all stakeholders to take conservation action, including irrigators, sportsmen, outfitters/guides, Big Hole watershed residents, and even residents of Butte, who get about 40% of their water from the Big Hole River.
|Here is a summary of current Big Hole River conditions by section:
Section I: Saginaw Bridge to North Fork BHR: Closed to fishing, 2.37 cfs
Section II: North Fork BHR to Dickie Bridge: Closed to Fishing, 66.5 cfs
Section III: Dickie Bridge to MFWP Maiden Rock: Conservation*, 199 cfs
Section IV: MFWP Maiden Rock to Tony Schoonen FAS: Closed to fishing, 148 cfs
Section V: Tony Schoonen FAS to confluence with Jefferson River: Closed to fishing, 43.6 cfs
*While BHR Section III is still open to fishing, we urge anglers to fish on other waters to protect the Big Hole River fishery during this period of historic drought.