The state of Montana is closing 175 miles of the popular Yellowstone River to curb the spreading of a parasite that is thought to have already killed tens of thousands of fish.
Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials say they have to close the long stretch of the River to people.
The aquatic ban means no swimming, boating, fishing or even wading in the waters…and also on the Yellowstone’s tributaries.
The state is trying to prevent the spread of the parasite, which is believed to have killed thousands of whitefish…and is now also affecting Cutthroat and Rainbow trout as well.
An unusually warm & dry summer means river levels are low, which can contribute to the parasite’s proliferation….and the officials say even simple recreational activities can easily spread the dangerous infection as a result.
They say trying to protect the fish population is their top priority, and has set up decontamination stations to help further prevent the spread, especially to other waterways.
Montana’s outdoor recreation industries, including river fishing, are a big part of the state’s economy.
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