Section of Clark Fork Closed to Fishing at Rattlesnake Creek
You probably won't need to tuck a measuring tape into one of the many pockets on your fly fishing vest.
But you will want to be aware of a small closure that went into effect in the heart of Missoula that affects many of you Clark Fork River anglers. It looks like bull trout might be the primary reason.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced over the weekend that a full fishing closure (not just hoot owl restrictions) went into effect at the mouth of Rattlesnake Creek where it enters the Clark Fork River. Many of you know the spot, across the Clark Fork from the University of Montana district. While unlikely there will be authorities measuring your distance, you are advised that the closure applies to both Rattlesnake and Clark Fork waters, within a 100-yard radius of the mouth of the creek.
FWP says this temporary closure is primarily for the protection of bull trout while water temperatures stay so warm. Bull trout are a species especially dependent on cold water for survival, and one of the stops they tend to make is the mouth of Rattlesnake Creek, trying to find some slightly cooler water. And with the amount of fishing pressure this area receives, the closure is an added step to help alleviate added stress on the fish.
With the above-normal August heat, many restrictions are in place on many rivers and streams in Montana. Regardless of what species you might be targeting, Montana FWP encourages all anglers to consider fishing in cooler waters due to low levels and higher temperatures.
FWP's frequently-updated closures and restrictions information is here.