With some cooler weather moving in, hopefully we will be able to share more announcements like this.

As of 2:00 p.m. today (Tuesday), several “hoot owl” restrictions currently in effect on portions of some Montana rivers are being lifted. Restrictions will be lifted on:

Missouri River from the Cascade boat ramp to Holter Dam (river mile 2,166.2 to 2,202.1).

Madison River from Ennis Dam to the border with Yellowstone National Park (river mile 40 to 131).

Stillwater River from the confluence with the Yellowstone River to Absaroka Fishing Access Site (river mile 0.0 to 13).

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks makes the call based on consistently cooler water temperatures over a three-day period. Angling restrictions are also implemented based on  stream flow, angling pressure and other angling restrictions in the area that may divert use to waterways where circumstances are increasing stress on the fishery.

Hoot owl restrictions means fishing is closed from 2:00 p.m. to midnight each day. Before you go fishing, please be aware of the conditions. Numerous other rivers in Montana are also under fishing restrictions. For an updated list the Montana FWP Current Closures and Restriction website page is a great resource. Just click on the river(s) you might be interested in and you'll get updates on whether or not restrictions are still in place.

If you’re looking for angling opportunities, many ponds, lakes and reservoirs in Montana provide good mid-summer angling options. PERSONAL TIP:  I have had a lot of success on Beavertail Hill Pond just 26 miles east of Missoula on I-90. Not just quantity but quality. I have caught and released some enormous trout in the past 6 weeks, casting crank baits from my float tube between 7:00 and 10:00 a.m.

Good fishing, everyone.

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