The following is a news release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will impose a full closure to fishing on the entire Jefferson River beginning Saturday, August 24 because of declining flows and continuing hot and dry conditions.
The Jefferson has been under hoot owl restrictions (2 p.m. to midnight) since late July when water temperatures exceeded 73 degrees for a week. Flows on the Jefferson have now dropped to below 280 cubic feet per second (cfs) as gauged in the Twin Bridges area. This is the trigger for a full closure as identified in the Jefferson River Watershed Council Drought Management Plan.
To protect the health of the fish population in the Jefferson, the Drought Management Plan calls for action including voluntary water conservation by irrigators and imposing angling restrictions when conditions hit specific trigger points. For more information on this drought plan and others, go to FWP’s drought webpage: fwp.mt.gov/news/drought/.
This closure may be lifted when flows on the Jefferson improve to above 300 cfs for seven consecutive days. FWP biologists will continue to monitor all southwest rivers and further restrictions may be necessary.
FWP appreciates the cooperation of anglers, outfitters and water users at this time.