Permanent Lower Madison Hoot Owl – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Permanent Lower Madison Hoot Owl

The Montana Fish and Wildlilfe Comission approved a permanent Hoot Owl restriction on the Lower Madison for a month during the summer, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

The daily closure will start July 15th and run until August 15th. It covers the stretch from the Warm Springs fishing access site to the river’s confluence with the Jefferson River. This means fishing would still be allowed in Bear Trap Canyon.

Hoot Owl means you are not allowed to fish between 2 p.m. and 12 a.m. The restriction is enforced to protect the wild trout that inhabit the river. Typically in the summer months, the river’s water warms to the mid 70s, which can be fatal to trout due to the lack of dissolved oxygen in the water. Fighting a fish in these conditions can further stress the fish, leading to unintentional kills.

Most years the Lower Madison goes on a temporary Hoot Owl restriction, although it hasn’t seen one during the last two summers. The Lower will be the first river in the state to receive a temporary Hoot Owl closure. The state can lift the ban if conditions allow, the Chronicle article stated.