Big Hole River Update

September 8, 2023 By: Spencer Durrant


The Big Hole River in Southwest Montana has been the subject of plenty of discussion this year. With declining trout populations – and few clear answers in sight – it’s become a passion project for many in the community to rally around.

As efforts get underway to gather more data to make management decisions that will hopefully improve the Big Hole’s trout numbers, some equipment was reported stolen. The equipment was a large water-quality monitoring device, according to the Bozeman Daily ChronicleThe device was originally secured beneath the river, and was reported missing in late August. It was recently found stashed in willows along the river, with evidence that clearly shows it didn’t just break free of its moorings and wash ashore.

“There is no way that it broke loose and washed ashore,” scientist Kyle Flynn said in the linked Bozeman Daily Chronicle article.

In addition, the Chronicle reported on recent issues with drift boat trailers and tires in the area. Recent acts of vandalism – like loosening lug nuts and removing cotter pins on trailers – have been reported, heightening tensions in an area that’s seen a lot of finger-pointing as folks try to figure out the best way to save the Big Hole’s trout.