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A permanent hoot owl restriction adopted by the commission last year for a portion of the lower Madison River will go into effect Wednesday, July 15.

The restriction will apply to the stretch of the river from the Bureau of Land Management’s Warm Springs Boat Launch to the confluence with the Jefferson River. This annual closure will be in effect from July 15 through Aug. 15 every year, starting in 2020.

Hoot owl restrictions prohibit fishing each day between 2 p.m. and midnight. Restrictions of this nature are enacted to protect fish, such as trout, which become more susceptible to disease and mortality when high water temperatures combine with additional stressors.

The Montana Fish & Wildlife Commission approved this permanent yearly restriction for the Madison River on Oct. 17, 2019, as part of an update to fishing regulations.

Media contact: Morgan Jacobsen, 406-577-7891,

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