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Travis Horton, the Fisheries Manager with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, takes the temperature of the Shields River of 71.6 degrees on July 15. (Emma Smith/Chronicle)

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Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks on Monday lifted a fishing closure on the Shields River, the latest waterway in the state to again allow anglers after a hot and dry summer.

Fishing is now allowed on the Shields River from its confluence with the Yellowstone River upstream to the U.S. Forest Service Crandall Creek Bridge, northeast of Wilsall.

The fishing closure went into effect July 21 due to high water temperatures and low stream flow. FWP said in a news release that flows have risen past a certain threshold, allowing the state to lift the closure.

Anglers may now fish most waterways in Montana after FWP lifted fishing restrictions on more than a dozen rivers and creeks across the state in late August, including the Gallatin, East Gallatin, Yellowstone and Madison rivers.

Emergency fishing closures remain on the Big Hole River from its confluence with the Beaverhead River to Maiden Rock Fishing Access site and from Saginaw Bridge on Skinner Meadow Road to Dickie Bridge.

Fishing is also not allowed on Red Rock Creek from Upper Red Rock Lake to the Hell Roaring Creek crossing at South Valley Road.

Fishing restrictions are meant to protect fish from stress caused by anglers when water temperatures are higher than 73 degrees or when stream flows are low. Low flows and high water temperatures can be deadly for cold water fish like trout, especially if they are hooked and released.

FWP recommends anglers fish during the coolest parts of the day, land fish quickly, keep fish in the water as much as possible, remove hooks gently and allow fish time to recover before releasing them.

All Montana fishing restrictions are available at fwp.mt.gov/news/current-closures-restrictions/waterbody-closures.

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