When is too much water a bad thing for a river and its economy? Montana’s fabled Bighorn River is struggling these days thanks to a flawed water management strategy that is having a serious impact the wild trout fishery below Yellowtail Dam. There’s simply too much water in the river, almost all the time, and it’s making life hard on trout and, especially, on anglers, who spend about $100 million a year on the river.
The Bighorn River Alliance is trying to draw attention to the issue, and it just released the film above that better outlines the issue. The river, when it experiences more natural flows, is among the best in the world for trophy trout fishing. Efforts are afoot to change the river’s water delivery management practices to recapture that vital slice of the recreation economy that’s being pushed out by bad decisions.
— Chris Hunt