BUTTE, Mont. - Just weeks after a handful of Montana rivers saw closures for low water flow, many of these popular fishing spots will be seeing upgrades in the near future. $417,000 have been set aside to help improve Montana fisheries after one of the worst drought seasons in years.

The funding comes from the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission’s Future Fisheries Improvement Program and is split across 14 different projects throughout the Treasure State.

One such project will take place south of Butte at the Big Hole River, one of the most notable water sources to undergo fishing closures in the past month. The volume of water flow should improve at the river as a result.

But as Mike Marcum of the StoneFly Fly Shop in Butte noted, the weather will have to play its part, too.

“There is still a lot of good water around Montana,” Marcum said. “We hope for a big winter and hopefully we can fill reservoirs, fill the rivers, and do all that.”

Another project involves trout populations, which have caused impending fishing closures due to unusually low numbers. Those upgrades are set to occur at Lick Creek south of Bozeman.

There’s no word yet on when these projects are set to begin construction, and the current closures at Big Hole River and Red Rock Creek will remain in place until Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks says otherwise.

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