Closed Portion Of Bitterroot River To Open In July - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Closed Portion Of Bitterroot River To Open In July

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BITTERROOT VALLEY - In a negotiation between state wildlife agencies and a Hamilton attorney, a contested stretch of the Bitterroot River, closed last month by Fish Wildlife and Parks, must be open by July.

The agreement was reached at a hearing on Thursday involving FWP and a man who petitioned the agency's closure of the river.

A stretch of the river from Woodside to Tucker Fishing Access Sites, near a diversion dam, was closed as a precaution last month, after a 6-year-old girl drowned near the dam last summer and several other close calls with boaters.

A man took FWP to district court, saying the agency shouldn't be able to close the river to the public.

"Our goal wasn't to eliminate recreational use on river. Our goal was trying to open that up as soon as we had mitigation measures in place, so what we're working on now is making sure there's proper signage at fishing access sites to notify less experienced boaters," said FWP Region 2 supervisor, Randy Arnold.

On top of putting warning signs in place, FWP is also working with other groups to secure funding to permanently fix the diversion dam.

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