Hot weather causes fishing restrictions

2017 fishing restrictions on Smith, Sun rivers

Hoot-Owl Fishing On Smith And Sun rivers

smith river montana

Because of hot weather and warmer water temperatures, fishing on the Sun and Smith Rivers will close daily from 2 p.m. to midnight, starting Sunday, July 9 until conditions improve.

The closures are issued for:

  • Smith River—from the confluence of the North and South forks to Eden Bridge south of Great Falls;

  • Sun River—from Highway 287 Bridge to the mouth of Muddy Creek west of Great Falls.

Montana's drought policy provides for angling closures when flows drop below critical levels for fish, when water quality is diminished, or when maximum daily water temperatures reach at least 73 degrees for three consecutive days.

The best water temperature for rainbow and brown trout is about 55-57 degrees. Temperatures of 77 degrees or more can be harmul to trout.

Montana wildlife officials said one of the best short-term strategies to address heat-induced stress in Montana's wild and native trout is to reduce catch-and-release mortality by alerting anglers to fish only in the morning. 


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