Drought Management Plan
Big Hole River 272 cfs Maidenrock. Beaverhead River 372 cfs
I got a call yesterday from the Big Hole Watershed committee advising that MFWP and the DNRC were going to start implementing their drought plan for the Big Hole River.
What this means is they are going to ask anglers to limit their fishing to morning hours. They are also going to ask water users (irrigators) to voluntarily reduce their water usage. Also asking Butte Silver Bow to reduce their usage.
The most critical part of this is the water temp. I don’t think this late in the season that this will be a problem. Water temps at Melrose in the morning have been around 58 and now in late afternoon it is 67. The ruling is if temps. reach over 70 for 8 hours a day for 3 consecutive days they will close it to fishing and I agree with this plan.
As for asking to limit fishing in the morning, I have no problem with either as fishing on hot afternoons sucks anyway.
I really don’t think water temps will be a problem as it is getting late August and nights are getting down right cold.
The Big Hole River held up amazingly well this summer. What with the lack of snowpack, no rain in June and hottest July on record and looks like August might be close it did very well.
Fishing in the morning is still very good with tricos still the main menu. Looks like this hot spell will last a couple more days and then start to cool down next week.