Drops in flows, increase in temps on Big Hole River prompt alert


Dropping water levels and rising temperatures on the Big Hole River prompted a news release Wednesday from the Big Hole Watershed Committee alerting both irrigators along the river and anglers to prepare for water use conservation measures and to adjust their angling habits.

“As the summer heat settles in, sections of the Big Hole River are reaching conservation triggers identified in the Big Hole River Drought Management Plan,” the release reports. “Flows are dropping rapidly in these sections and water temperatures are rising, so now is the time to do whatever can be done to protect the fisher.”

For some irrigators in the upper Big Hole who participate in the Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, dropping flows and increasing temperatures could mean returning water to the river to prevent the listing of river-dwelling Arctic graying under the Endangered Species Act.

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“The Big Hole Watershed Committee has enacted its phone tree to inform local irrigators of the need for water conservation,” the news release said. “Local cooperation is the best tool we have for conserving water, given our rivers are

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