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Closed portions of Yellowstone River reopen Thursday

Fishing access damage.PNG
Posted at 6:38 PM, Jun 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 10:54:27-04

REED POINT — Many campsites and fishing accesses in Montana were damaged during the historic flooding the state saw last week.

Few sites were damaged more heavily than the Indian Fort Fishing Access in Reed Point.

"This one got hit pretty hard. You can tell the river flowed through here, not just settled, it flowed through here," Justice Mack, maintenance supervisor for region 5, said Thursday.

On Wednesday evening, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks made the decision to reopen the closed portions of the Yellowstone River. Even with the river's reopening, many sites may not be immediately available because of the cleanup. The timeline for completion can shift drastically, depending on the area.

"Some sites it's just as easy as removing all the silt that the river washed up. Others it's gravel," said Mack.

As sites continue to become available for use, hazards in the water may still remain. The wildlife department suggests exercising caution.

"I think the biggest hazard that I would be worried about if I was on the river would be big trees and snags that can create strainers and pull and hold boats underwater," said Bob Gibson, communication & education program manager for FWP.

Crews are working to ensure every site is back to functioning as best it can, and there's hope this summer will see every site back to its original state.

"This summer we should definitely be able to wrap up with fishing accesses. This one was pretty bad, but many others go really quick," said Mack.