The Latest: Yellowstone River closure could last months

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) " The Latest on a massive fish kill on the Yellowstone River that prompted the closure of a 183-mile stretch of the river (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

A ban on fishing, boating and other activities on Montana's Yellowstone River could last for months after an invasive parasite killed thousands of fish.

The closure includes a 183-mile stretch of the river and hundreds of miles of tributaries. State wildlife officials said Friday that the order will be lifted only after river conditions improve and fish stop dying.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokeswoman Andrea Jones says that could take months. She says biologists will monitor conditions and the Yellowstone will open as soon as it's feasible.

State officials also retracted earlier statements that fish had been killed in Yellowstone National Park.

Fisheries biologist Scott Opitz says dead fish have been found up to the park's northern border but there are no confirmed deaths inside the park.


12:30 p.m.

Montana wildlife officials say a massive fish kill that prompted the closure of a 183-mile stretch of river includes dead fish found inside Yellowstone National Park.

The announcement came as the park prepares to hold a large celebration next week marking the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

The Yellowstone River and all of its tributaries were closed Friday to fishing, boating and other activities between the towns of Gardiner and Laurel.

Officials are seeking to limit the spread of a parasite believed to have killed tens of thousands of whitefish and a smaller number of trout.

The closure order did not include the park. But Yellowstone spokeswoman Charissa Reid says park scientists were looking at the issue and more information would be released later in the day.


10 a.m.

Montana is closing a 183-mile stretch of the Yellowstone River to all recreational activities to prevent the spread of a parasite that is believed to have killed tens of thousands of fish.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials said Friday the closure extends from Yellowstone National Park's northern boundary at Gardiner to Laurel, along with tributaries in those areas.

The agency says the action is needed to prevent the spread of the parasite and to protect the fishery and the outdoor economy it sustains.

Over the past week, wildlife officials have documented over 2,000 dead mountain whitefish and believe the total number killed is tens of thousands of fish.

FWP has set up two aquatic invasive species decontamination stations in an effort to reduce the chance of spreading the parasite.


This item has been corrected to show that the closure area includes 183 miles of the Yellowstone River, not 175.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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