If you haven’t been watching or reading the news, you may have missed this one. In an unprecedented move, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) close nearly 200 miles of the fabled Yellowstone River to all recreational activities after a parasite was determined responsible for a massive fish kill. Fishing, floating, wading and tubing are prohibited from just north of the Yellowstone National Park boundary, at the Gardiner entrance, to Highway 212 bridge in Laurel in an effort to prevent the spread of the parasite to other water sources. There is no end date in site for the closure. “This kill is unprecedented in magnitude. We haven’t seen something like this in Montana,” FWP spokeswoman Andrea Jones said. The closure could remain in effect until dead fish are no longer being discovered. Over 4,000 trout and whitefish have been found dead in the river and along the shore but estimates project the numbers are more than likely in the tens of thousands.
The closure has not affected nearby waters in Yellowstone National Park. “At this time, the NPS [National Park Service] is not considering expanding the river closure inside Yellowstone National Park. Crews are actively assessing the Yellowstone River and its tributaries inside the park’s northern boundary and have not discovered any dead fish,” the agency said in a statement.
Full story here.