On October 21st, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced the reopening of three sections of the Big Hole River to fishing. These sections have reached reopening criteria as designated in the Big Hole River Drought Management Plan:
Section II: North Fork Big Hole River to Dickie Bridge (Reopened 10/20/21)
Section IV: MFWP Maiden Rock FAS to Tony Schoonen FAS (Reopened 10/18/21, see previous post)
Section V: Tony Schoonen FAS to confluence with Jefferson River (Reopened 10/21/21)
At 33.2 cfs, Section I: Saginaw Bridge on Skinner Meadows Road to North Fork Big Hole River confluence remains closed to fishing.
You can always view current river conditions at bhwc.org/river-conditions.
MFWP also reminded us that new fishing regulations are in place to protect brown trout during the spawning season. Brown trout populations have been declining for unknown causes in the Big Hole and other Southwest Montana rivers. Please watch out for redds and abide by the new regulations to protect the Big Hole River fishery.
Read the press release from MFWP, below:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 21, 2021
Drought-related fishing closures lifted in some sections of Big Hole River
Fishing closure still in effect in upper Big Hole River
WISE RIVER – Three sections of the Big Hole River that were closed to fishing due to drought have reopened.
These sections have met the flow criteria for reopening:
- From Tony Schoonen Fishing Access Site upstream to FWP’s Maiden Rock Fishing Access Site; this section opened Oct. 18.
- From Dickie Bridge upstream to the North Fork of the Big Hole River; this section opened Oct. 20.
- From the Big Hole River’s confluence with the Jefferson River (mouth) upstream to Tony Schoonen Fishing Access Site; this section opened Oct. 21.
A drought-related fishing closure remains in effect for the section from the North Fork of the Big Hole River upstream to Saginaw Bridge on Skinner Meadows Road.
All drought-related fishing closures will be removed on Nov. 1.
New fishing regulations for the Big Hole River are now in effect after they were passed by the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission in August. These include:
- Catch and release only for brown trout from the mouth of the river upstream to Dickie Bridge.
- A seasonal fishing closure between the Bureau of Land Management’s Maiden Rock site and Brownes Bridge Fishing Access Site from Nov. 1 until the third Saturday in May.
- Artificial lures and single-pointed hooks only from the mouth of the river upstream to Dickie Bridge. No treble or double hooks are allowed. Anglers may remove treble or double hooks.
For more information about fishing regulations or waterbody restrictions and closures, visit fwp.mt.gov/fish.