Monday June 27, 2022

Helena Independent Record —

With floodwaters receding and the Yellowstone River reopening to recreation, officials are still assessing damage and urging caution about potential for new hazards.

Historic flooding ravaged areas along the Yellowstone and Stillwater rivers as well as Rock Creek near Red Lodge. Red Lodge, Gardiner, Livingston, Fromberg and other locales saw significant impacts, with more than 100 residents facing damage to homes and costly infrastructure needing repair. As that work gets underway, officials and locals are also looking to what the flooding will mean for the rivers and fisheries that attract visitors from around the world.

While not discounting the devastation of the flooding, Eileen Ryce, fisheries division administrator for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, said fisheries biologists are generally happy to see additional moisture.

“We won’t know until we start getting (fish sampling) results, but we’re not anticipating anything too negative (on the fishery),” she said when asked how fish might have fared. “I actually think the positive impacts of the cooler weather and the moisture outweigh any potential negative impacts.”

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