Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has lifted the Hoot Owl fishing restrictions on Big Hole River Section I: Saginaw Bridge on Skinner Meadows Road to the mouth of the North Fork Big Hole River, effective yesterday, August 14, 2017. This reach has met the criteria to lift Hoot Owl restrictions based on cooler daily peak water temperatures, as set by the Big Hole River Drought Management Plan. Hoot Owl restrictions limit fishing during the hottest part of the day, 2pm-midnight, to protect the fishery. 

Visit our River Conditions page for more information.

The press release from MFWP is included below:

Drought & Fire – Region 3

Monday, August 14, 2017

(BOZEMAN, Mont.)—With nights getting longer and cooler, a couple of sections of rivers in
southwest Montana have met the criteria for lifting fishing restrictions.

Effective immediately, the following sections of rivers (previously under “hoot owl
restrictions”) are open to fishing daily:

  • Big Hole River from Saginaw Bridge on Skinner Meadows Road to the Mouth of the
    North Fork Big Hole River;
  • Lower Beaverhead River from Anderson Lane to confluence with Big Hole River;

For up-to-date information on restrictions related to drought, visit

Hoot Owl fishing restrictions remain in place on Big Hole River Section V: Notch Bottom to the mouth of the Big Hole River.

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