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Fish & Wildlife may rescind 'hoot owl' restrictions on Madison River

Madison River at Raynold's Pass Fishing Access Site on Dec. 1, 2021.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Madison River at Raynold's Pass Fishing Access Site on Dec. 1, 2021.

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission will hold a special meeting Thursday to consider rescinding annual "hoot owl" restriction on the lower Madison River.

The commission adopted the annual restriction two years ago after regularly having to enact emergency restrictions on the lower Madison. The annual restriction bars fishing between 2 p.m. and midnight from the dam at Ennis Lake to the confluence with the Jefferson River each between July 15 and August 15.

The restriction aims to reduce stress on trout in one of Montana’s most popular, blue ribbon fisheries.

In a news release, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks says current flows and water temperatures on the lower Madison River are in good shape and the annual restriction may no longer be necessary.

The fish and wildlife commission will take public comment before and at its Thursday meeting starting at 5 p.m. More information can be found at fwp.mt.gov. 

Shaylee is Montana Public Radio's Capitol reporter. She previously worked for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and covered the 2019 legislative session for the University of Montana's Legislative News Service.