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Montana officials announced Thursday evening fishing restrictions on several rivers in southwestern Montana have been lifted.

Restrictions prohibiting fishing from 2 p.m. to midnight on the lower Gallatin River, the lower Ruby River, two sections of the Big Hole River, the lower Beaverhead River and the entire Jefferson River have been lifted, according to a news release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

“Water temperatures in each area have stayed below 70 degrees for the required timeframe, and temperatures are expected to continue to cool over the coming days,” the release said.

The agency imposes these “hoot-owl” restrictions to protect Arctic grayling and trout when water temperatures exceed 73 degrees for at least three consecutive days. High water temperatures can be lethal for fish.

Restrictions were lifted from the lower Gallatin River from the Highway 84 bridge near Four Corners to the Missouri River; the lower Ruby River from Duncan District Road to the Beaverhead River; the Big Hole River from the North Fork of the Big Hole River to Dickie Bridge, and from the Maidenrock Fishing Access Site to the Beaverhead River.

They were also lifted from the lower Beaverhead River from Anderson Lane to the Jefferson River, and the entire Jefferson River.

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Helena Dore can be reached at hdore@dailychronicle.com or at 582-2628.

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