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Portion of Stillwater River closed after exposed pipeline discovered

pipeline stillwater river.jpeg
Posted at 6:29 PM, Aug 08, 2022

(Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks news release)

BILLINGS – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has closed the Stillwater River to all watercraft between Absaroka Fishing Access Site (FAS) and the confluence of the Rosebud River, which is just upstream of Jeffreys Landing FAS.

FWP said in a news release that it is working with Stillwater County commissioners providing an emergency closure of the area until further notice. The closure will begin at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9. The closure is for watercraft on the river, not other river access.

An exposed natural gas pipeline has created a dangerous obstacle in the river and is impeding floaters’ ability to safely negotiate around it, according to FWP.

Low water levels have reduced the width of the river and is now forcing floaters to go over the pipeline twice and into a debris pile on the lower portion that could potentially cause injury or drowning.

The pipeline company, which was not identified in an FWP release, is working on a solution, according to the agency.