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FWP reopening Yellowstone River to recreation on June 23

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Flooding aerial scene

An aerial view shows the flooding Yellowstone River and the snowpack that caused it on Thursday, June 16.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, in consultation with Park and Stillwater county officials, is re-opening the closed sections of the Yellowstone River to recreation on Thursday.

However, river levels continue to be high and at potentially dangerous levels. Several FWP sites along the river are closed or have restricted access while crews assess and repair these sites. FWP is actively assessing local impacts at sites along the Yellowstone River and its tributaries and will re-open or remove restrictions as soon as conditions are safe. Visitors can find the latest information on closures and restrictions on the FWP website.

“The conditions continue to be hazardous, and so we encourage people to exercise an abundance of caution when around the river,” said FWP Director Hank Worsech in a statement. “Our staff is working hard to get sites back open for the public.”

Though the Yellowstone River opens tomorrow, in Stillwater County closures are still in place for the Stillwater River, West Rosebud Creek from Rosebud Isle fishing access site to the confluence of Rosebud Creek, and Rosebud Creek to the confluence with the Stillwater.

Even though FWP sites in these areas may be opening soon, visitors should be prepared to encounter impacts from the flooding, including soft or rough roads, flooding debris and flood-impacted latrines.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality, Montana Department of Health and Human Services, and FWP are advising recreationists to use extreme caution around floodwaters due to the potential exposure to bacteria such as E. coli. The recommendations are to avoid contact with floodwaters for two weeks after the flood.

Waters continue to be high elsewhere in the state as well, including areas of western and northwest Montana. For the latest restrictions and closures, please go to the FWP website.

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As last week's flood waters slink back into their rivers, some roads and transport essentials have been left with damages — if not completely wiped out — while other less impacted areas are returning to normal.

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