BIG TIMBER — The Sweet Grass County Sheriff’s Office and Sweet Grass County Search and Rescue released a press release Sunday that they are suspending search operations for missing fisherman, Bradford Meadows, 50, of Billings.
Meadows was fishing Wednesday, July 24, near 4 Mile Campground when he fell into the Boulder River shortly after noon and was swept downstream.
The campground is located approximately 42 miles south of Big Timber. Meadows has not been seen since, but his fly rod, backpack and hat were located in the heavy rapids below his entry point.
SAR teams spent more than nine hours Saturday, Aug. 3, scouring the area. Sheriff Alan Ronneberg said the crew first used a drone piloted by Carson Pollington of Sweet Grass UAS to identify areas of interest along the river.
Two dog teams from Gallatin County Search and Rescue then walked the banks looking for indications while a team of four from U.S. Water Rescue out of Yellowstone County used underwater cameras to more heavily search those areas of interest. Five volunteers from Sweet Grass County SAR and five from Park County SAR also probed holes and eddies along the edge of the river.
“They didn’t see anything with the cameras and we actually re-probed old areas that we’ve gone through before with longer probes. We searched every nook and cranny that we could find,” Ronneberg said. “I don’t believe he is in those rapids.”
No additional searches are planned pending the identification of a new search area.
Ronneberg said there will be random cursory searches in different areas along the Boulder River while they continue to monitor water levels.
Anyone with information about this missing fisherman is asked to contact the Sweet Grass County Sheriff’s Office at (406) 932-5143.