Montana officials are considering implementing permanent “Hoot Owl” regulations between July 1-August 31 on the Lower Madison River to protect resident trout from angling pressure when the temperatures will be too high for them to survive being caught and released. The stretch of river, “from Ennis Dam to the mouth of the river near Three Forks.” The proposed closures would limit anglers to fishing between midnight and 2 PM.
The proposal is part of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ department campaign to seek more public input on fishery management practices in the state.
While Hoot Owl regulations are not uncommon during the hottest parts of the year, this sort of “permanent” regulations has not been implemented. Typically Hoot Owl regs are only put into place after 3 consecutive days with water temps over 73F degrees.
So it looks like its early morning fishing for the area for the time being while the trout have a chance to beat the heat themselves.
Source: Bozeman Daily Chronicle.