Flooding prompts restrictions at four Stillwater County fishing access sites

Tuesday, June 2, 2020
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(MFP photo) High runoff water from the Stillwater River runs across the access road to Swinging Bridge fishing access site south of Columbus on June 1, 2020.

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(MFP photo) Flood waters from the Yellowstone River lap against the bottom of the access bridge and inundate the road into the Buffalo Mirage fishing access site at Park City on June 1, 2020.

Unseasonably high temperatures during the past handful of days has brought mountain snowpack down rapidly, creating flooding conditions for at least 10 fishing access sites in southcentral Montana — including four sites in Stillwater County.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFP) has restricted traffic to the sites as walk-in only. The closures include Indian Fort just west of Reed Point, Buffalo Mirage at Park City, according to a press release from FWP. On the Stillwater River, White Bird and Swinging Bridge fishing access sites are covered with water, but foot traffic to properties is being allowed, according to the press release.

Traffic restrictions will remain in place on all of the fishing access sites until further notice when floodwater recedes and any repairs can be made.

Late Monday night, the National Weather Service (NWS) issued a Flood Warning for the Yellowstone River in Stillwater and Yellowstone counties, in which minor flooding was expected. A Flood Warning is issued when river flooding is expected to impact people and property in a designated area. NWS is urging caution walking near riverbanks as erosion may have potentially created unstable conditions.