Adaily fishing restriction is now in place for the lower Madison River to reduce fish stress and mortality during high water temperatures. The hoot-owl fishing restriction, which prohibits fishing each day between 2 p.m. and midnight, applies from the Warm Springs Boat Launch to the Madison River’s confluence with the Jefferson River.
The Madison River Work Group met for the final time this spring on Thursday, May 26. The primary purpose of the meeting was to finalize their recommendations for the Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting on June 22. If adopted, the recommendations will go into effect in 2023.
The Madison River recorded very low flows early Tuesday, Nov. 30, due to a broken gate on Hebgen Dam that controls water flow. Few, if anybody, noticed the problem until sunup.
The Hebgen Dam release gate is open and outflows to the Madison River were restored just before midnight on Wednesday, Dec. 1. Follow-up work is still required, but water in the river has reached normal levels.
A full fishing closure that was implemented in the upper Madison River will be lifted on Friday now that a gate at Hebgen Dam has been repaired and river flows are returning to normal.
A full fishing closure is in effect for the upper Madison River from Ennis Lake upstream to Hebgen Dam.
A malfunction at Hebgen Dam caused flows on the Madison River to drop Tuesday, stranding fish on riffles and concentrating fish in deep water. NorthWestern Energy is working to fix the dam.
NorthWestern Energy working to restore Hebgen Dam gate functionality and full river flows to the Madison River
Water flow from Hebgen Dam to the Madison River significantly decreased Nov. 30 when a gate component failed on the dam’s outlet structure, decreasing the opening for the outtake of water at the bottom of the gate.
Trout fisheries are below 20-year averages in the upper reaches of the Madison River and at Hebgen Reservoir. While Hebgen and Madison dams work in part to mitigate temperatures and maintain flows, an already hot summer heightens concern for the forests and the fish.
Service members were heavy on the minds of many over the last week as communities celebrated Memorial Day. Three current service members were also recently honored, in this case with a complimentary fly fishing experience at Madison Double R.
The Fish & Wildlife Commission will hold a public hearing to consider an amendment voted on by the commissioners relating to the implementation of the commercial use cap on the Madison River.