Hoot-owl fishing restrictions took effect Tuesday for the Missouri River near Craig, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks announced.
Under hoot-owl restrictions, fishing is not allowed from 2 p.m. to midnight each day. The restrictions are in effect between Holter Dam and the town of Cascade boat ramp and are meant to keep anglers from stressing fish already struggling with warm water and low oxygen levels.
Flow below Holter Dam is near the 10th percentile for the daily average on record, and the temperatures recorded throughout the section have exceeded 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Although flow and temperature are not exceeding established criteria for restrictions, continued forecast high temperatures coupled with high angling pressure could lead to excessive fish mortality.
These restrictions will remain in place until streamflow and water temperature conditions improve or until Sept. 15.
FWP urges all anglers to minimize stress on fish by playing and landing them quickly, and not removing them from the water while unhooking.
Numerous other rivers in Montana are also under fishing restrictions. For a full list, visit FWP’s website: https://fwp.mt.gov/news/current-closures-restrictions.