- Associated Press - Thursday, September 1, 2016

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Montana wildlife commissioners will consider re-opening stretches of the Yellowstone River and its tributaries after a major fish kill triggered a ban on recreational activities.

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission scheduled a conference call for noon on Thursday to discuss the matter.

A 183-mile section of the famous river, reaching from Gardiner to Laurel, was closed Aug. 19. Streams and rivers draining into that section of the Yellowstone also were closed.

The move followed the discovery of thousands of dead mountain whitefish, victims of an invasive parasite.

Wildlife officials say the rate of fish dying decreased in recent days.

Rafting companies, fly fishing guides and others have been unable to use the river. That’s dealt a major blow to the region’s outdoor sports industry.

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