Closed sections of the Yellowstone River are set to re-open Thursday for recreational use. The press release from Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks warns that river levels are still high, making for potentially dangerous water levels.

“The conditions continue to be hazardous, and so we encourage people to exercise an abundance of caution when around the river,” said Hank Worsech, FWP Director. FWP staff are analyzing impacts at sites along hte river to determine whether to reopen or remove other restrictions when conditions are safe. Several sites remain closed for FWP assessments to repair other sites. 

Several Stillwater County closures are still in effect for the areas along the Stillwater River. West Rosebud Creek to the Rosebud Fishing access site joining the Rosebud Creek and Rosebud Creek joining the Stillwater River. Recreationalists should prepare to encounter flooding impacts like debris, rough roads, and latrines. Possible exposure to bacteria like E.coli in floodwaters is a possibility. It is recommended to avoid floodwaters for two weeks after a flood occurs. 

Several areas in northwest and western Montana are still experiencing relatively high waters. Click here to find the latest restrictions and closures on FWP’s website. 

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Full Press Release Below:

HELENA – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, in close consultation with Park and Stillwater county officials, is re-opening the closed sections of the Yellowstone River to recreation on Thursday.

However, river levels continue to be high and at potentially dangerous levels. Several FWP sites along the river are closed or have restricted access while crews assess and repair these sites. FWP is actively assessing local impacts at sites along the Yellowstone River and its tributaries and will re-open or remove restrictions as soon as conditions are safe. Visitors can find the latest information on closures and restrictions on the FWP website.

“The conditions continue to be hazardous, and so we encourage people to exercise an abundance of caution when around the river,” said FWP Director Hank Worsech. “Our staff is working hard to get sites back open for the public.”

Though the Yellowstone River opens tomorrow, in Stillwater County closures are still in place for the Stillwater River, West Rosebud Creek from Rosebud Isle Fishing Access Site to the confluence of Rosebud Creek, and Rosebud Creek to the confluence with the Stillwater.

Even though FWP sites in these areas may be opening soon, visitors should be prepared to encounter impacts from the flooding, including soft or rough roads, flooding debris, and flood-impacted latrines.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality, Montana Department of Health and Human Services, and FWP are advising recreationists to use extreme caution around floodwaters due to the potential exposure to bacteria such as E. coli. The recommendations are to avoid contact with floodwaters for two weeks after the flood. (See press release.)

Waters continue to be high elsewhere in the state as well, including areas of western and northwest Montana. For the latest restrictions and closures, please go to the FWP website.