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April moisture made for above average snowpack

By Lauren Maschmedt, KTVM Anchor, lmaschmedt@ktvm.com
Published On: May 07 2013 06:20:15 PM MDT
Updated On: May 08 2013 09:29:38 AM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

After a dry finish to March, researchers at the Natural Resources Conservation Service said the snowpack changed dramatically in April. Snow in the mountains went from below average to above average.

According to recently released numbers, statewide snowpack rose 14 percent- from 91 percent on April 1st, to 105 percent on May 1st.

Across the state, only one major basin didn't gain snowpack. Southwest Montana's Jefferson River Basin saw the least amount of snowfall- staying at a flat 89 percent.

With spring fishing in full swing, we looked into what that means for anglers.

"The reports I'm getting from my guides is that the fishing has been really good," said Steve Summerhill, owner of The River's Edge Fly Shop.

He said so far this year, the rivers have been calm and clear.

But as the weather warms up and the heavier snowpack melts in the mountains, the rivers swell.

"During this time of the year, we're right on the verge of not being able to fish a whole lot on the big rivers," Summerhill said.

According to NRCS numbers, April's snowfall increased streamflow by 20 percent- from 2 to 21 percent.

Summerhill said they'll be watching the waterways- and plan to stick to smaller streams during the heavy runoff.