By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily
It’s too hot – even for the fish.
Due to high water temperatures and unprecedented low stream flows, anglers headed to Yellowstone National Park’s rivers and streams won’t be able to fish in the afternoon and evening.
The National Park Service released the closure notice on Friday, saying that the restrictions will protect the park’s native and wild trout fisheries.
Water temperatures have exceeded 68 degrees in recent days, according to park biologists, and flows on many rivers are approaching historic lows. Officials say these conditions are extremely stressful, and can be fatal to fish.
The extended forecast calls for continued hot and dry conditions with a slight chance of isolated afternoon thunderstorms, which contribute to continued low stream flows and high-water temperatures.
There is no indication when the closure might be lifted.
So until further notice, fishing on rivers and streams will be prohibited from 2 p.m. to sunrise the following day.
Anglers will be allowed to fish those areas from sunrise to 2 p.m. daily.
This does not mean all fishing is off limits in the later part of the day. Yellowstone Lake and other lakes will remain open to fishing from sunrise to sunset.
Officials are urging anglers to fish during the coolest times of day, and land fish quickly; to gently handle fish in the water as much as possible; and to let them recover before release.
This cooperation will protect the park’s fisheries, and biologists note that precautions such as these may ensure that closures like this can be avoided if conditions worsen.