New Hoot Owl Fishing Restrictions for Missoula County
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks announced new hoot owl restrictions for Missoula County Yesterday, July 29.
"We hit a trigger which was getting below a certain amount of water at the Bonner gauging station," Fisheries Manager Pat Saffel said. "We hit that trigger last week. We talked about putting more restrictions on and we saw continuing drop in water levels as we move into August. We decided to put the restrictions in place."
Hoot Owl restrictions mean fishing is prohibited after 2 p.m. and are already on the Clark Fork, Bitterroot and Blackfoot Rivers. Now, the restrictions have been extended to some tributaries on the Blackfoot and the Clearwater.
"The one in the Clearwater is Morrell Creek and then the trips of the Blackfoot are where we have important native fisheries and that's Gold Creek, Belmont Creek, Cottonwood Creek, Copper Creek, Monture Creek and then the north fork of the Blackfoot River below North Fork Falls and also Landers Fork," Saffel said.
Saffel says many more tributaries are on the cusp of needing hoot owl restrictions. He also says that if Morning temperatures become too warm, 24 hour closures may be possible.