Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has been shutting down many state parks due to the statewide Stay At Home and social distancing directives. Bannack State Park (see photo above) has been closed until further notice. Officials said it was impossible to adhere to the directives in the many buildings of the town site. Montana FWP has been adapting to the coronavirus threats by suspending floating and recreating on the Smith River until April 24, and has stopped out-of-state spring hunting seasons - since people coming into the state must self-quarantine for two weeks. That includes the spring bear and wild turkey hunting seasons and the Paddlefish season on the Yellowstone and Lower Missouri Rivers. Overnight camping will not be allowed on Montana FWP sites. Visitor Center closures will be extended until at least April 24 and fishing piers are closed to all but handicap access, due to inability to maintain the 6-foot social distancing requirements. Fishing Access sites remain open, but remember the social distancing. If you have questions about your favorite place to recreate, call your local FWP office. The Missoula office is (406) 542-6501. To inquire about Aquatic Invasive Species boat checks, call (406) 444-2440. By the way, if you're transporting your watercraft - including non-motorized craft - you must stop at any Boat Inspection station that you come upon along the state's highways.

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