There s sad news coming from Montana s Fish, Wildlife and Parks department: a parasite is killing off large quantities of fish in Yellowstone River, and as a result all activities on the water in both the river and its tributaries has been banned.

According to the state s wildlife division, there have been more than 2,000 recorded instances of Mountain Whitefish dying from this parasite, though the department estimates that there could be tens of thousands of fish affected throughout the larger Yellowstone River region.

The ban is instituted in a bid to stop the parasite from spreading to other bodies of water.

As of today, all recreational water activities have been banned in Yellowstone River and its tributaries; this includes fishing, boating, wading, even floating.

The ban applies to tributaries spanning from the national park s Gardiner northern boundary all the way through to Highway 212 s bridge in Laurel.

The state calls the massive fish deaths unprecedented, and is trying to prevent the parasite causing them from getting into nearby rivers — it could be transported by boats and other items that touch the affected waters.

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