Closed section of Bitterroot River reopens Monday with new warning signs


BITTERROOT, Mont. - Floaters will soon be able to access a section of the Bitterroot River that's been closed since April because of safety concerns.

The section we're talking about runs from Woodside Bridge to Tucker Crossing.

This is about a three mile length of the river in the Bitterroot Valley near Corvallis. It reopens tomorrow.

A supply ditch diversion dam used for irrigation has been a hazard on the river for years.

Last year a person was killed here when their boat capsized.

This spring, the dam was too swift for boaters to portage around the hazard. So Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks implemented an emergency closure.

Once it opens tomorrow, there are new signs warning of the danger. Officials say it still won't be safe to go over the dam, no matter how low the river is.

"We've put a lot of signage in and we are asking people to please pay attention to the signs. The signs will start warning people from a mile ahead of the dam on the river. The sign will say "dangerous diversion down one mile," said Christine Oschell, Fishing Access Program Manager.

FWP told NBC Montana that they are working on getting money for a grant so they can resolve this problem permanently. They don't want to close a section of the river every year. They are hoping to have the money and the issue fixed within the next couple of years.


More Stories