BIG HOLE — After three days of water temperatures in the 70s, Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks have implemented a daily “Hoot-Owl” fishing closure for the lower Big Hole River to reduce fish stress and mortality from 2 p.m. to midnight.
"When somebody catches a fish in those high water temperatures basically, we have a much higher probability that that fish is going to die even if it’s released," said Jim Olsen, Big hole River Fisheries biologist.
The rule will be in place from the confluence with the Beaverhead River to the Notch Bottom fishing access site.
Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks urge fishing during the coolest times of the day. Keep the fish in the water as much as possible and let the fish recover before releasing it.