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Others Rescued From Same Bitterroot Dam Where Six-Year-Old Died, Montana FWP Working to Make Dam Safer

Diversion Dam between Woodside Bridge and Tucker Crossing FAS on Bitterroot River
Photo courtesy of Montana FWP

After six-year-old Joslyn Sage Farrell died, June 30, on the Bitterroot River, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) reports that others have had to be rescued from the very same diversion dam that took Farrell’s life.

According to Montana FWP Region 2 Fisheries Manager, Pat Saffel, the current at that dam is particularly dangerous.

“At this one, the dam is perpendicular to the flow”, Said Saffel. “The water is going over the dam, it goes into a plunge pool and then it kind of recirculates. So, if you don’t push yourself through it you can get caught in that recirculation and what it does is it pushes you and your craft back into the dam.”

The dam is located approximately three miles downstream of the Woodside Bridge, before one reaches the Tucker Crossing Fishing Access Site.

“We’ve been adding signs at fishing access sites and at the site to let people know that there is a safe portage around the dam that is usable by all kinds of craft,” said Saffel. “As far as the dam itself, we don’t own the dam. We would have to work with the ditch company at this point to look at modifications that would make it safer, and we’re certainly interested in doing that.

Saffell says that some outdoor sporting groups have asked if they can contribute to improving the the dam and that FWP has already reached out to the company that owns the dam to find a way to make the area less treacherous.

Pat Saffel:

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Photo courtesy of Montana FWP

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