A group of anglers fish the upper Madison River south of Ennis last week.

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A combination of full fishing closures and evening fishing restrictions went into effect on more southwest Montana rivers Tuesday and Wednesday, in accordance with the state’s drought policy.

Officials with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks restrict fishing to reduce angling pressure when low flows and heightened water temperatures make fish more susceptible to disease and death.

Starting on Tuesday, a full fishing closure went into effect on the Shields River from its confluence with the Yellowstone River to the U.S. Forest Service’s Crandall Creek Bridge.

In addition, full fishing closures impacting portions of the Big Hole and Gallatin rivers, and the entire Jefferson River, were set to go into effect Wednesday at 12:01 a.m.

Beginning after midnight on Wednesday, anglers can no longer fish on the Big Hole River from its confluence with the Beaverhead River to the Tony Schoonen Fishing Access Site. They can’t fish the Gallatin River from its mouth to the Montana Highway 84 Crossing.

Starting on Wednesday at 2 p.m., evening fishing or “hoot owl” restrictions were set to go into effect on portions of the Madison, Beaverhead, Missouri, Stillwater and Yellowstone rivers.

The restrictions banning angling from 2 p.m. to midnight affect the entire stretch of the Madison River from its mouth to the boundary of Yellowstone National Park.

They also apply to the Beaverhead River from its mouth to Montana Highway 91 South, the Missouri River from Town of Cascade Boat Ramp to Holter Dam and the Stillwater River from the confluence with Yellowstone River to the Absaroka Fishing Access Site.

The restrictions were also ordered for the Yellowstone River from the Highway 212 Bridge in Laurel to the boundary of Yellowstone National Park.

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Helena Dore can be reached at or at 582-2628.

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