Fishing and river-based businesses are put in a tough spot by Yellowstone River closure.
The news of a massive fish kill in the Yellowstone River in Montana is causing concerns beyond just a bunch of dead fish. In a part of the state where fishing trips are big business, now people’s livelihoods are being threatened by the closure of 183 miles of river.
Hear one outfitter comment about the situation in the video below. He’s already had to cancel a full month’s worth of guided trips!
With some 64,000 jobs and $6 billion in yearly activity at stake, it’s easy to see why many guides are probably worried. And it’s not just fishing shops and guides who are going to feel the impact of a closed river.
KPAX reports some river rafting guides have actually closed their doors early for the season.
Unfortunately, many of these businesses may be left hanging until next spring. The parasite causing the die off of fish most often appears when water levels are low and the temperature is higher. Since we’re coming up on the end of summer, the poor river conditions that caused the outbreak aren’t likely to change until the spring melt of winter’s snow.
Last week Montana Gov. Steve Bullock acknowledged how area industry may be threatened by the closure, but they want to ensure the disease doesn’t spread to other rivers and streams.
For now these businesses will just have to play a waiting game. Let’s hope all can survive the closure and loss of income until the river is reopened.