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Fishing

BLM water impoundments provide habitat for rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and black crappie.  

Since these impoundments must be restocked every three or four years due to winter die­offs, please contact the local office for current information about which impoundments contain fish.

Fishing opportunities (seasons and licenses) are managed by the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) 1420 E. Sixth Avenue, Helena, MT 59260, (406) 449­2535.

One of the finest, if not the finest, blue ribbon trout fishery in Montana is on the Missouri River from Holter Lake to Craig. It contains a fantastic rainbow and brown trout fishery, and it is ever increasingly being known as such by fly­fisherman across the nation.

Fishing pressure can be intense and out­ fitting is becoming prominent. Tributary rivers to the Missouri are also well known trout fisheries, the most noted being the Smith River. Competition for floating spaces on the Smith is high and accomplished through a drawing. Other rivers providing fishing opportunity include the Dearborn and the Sun.

Tiber Reservoir, otherwise known as Lake Elwell, is formed by a dam on the upper Marias River. This reservoir contains northern pike, walleye,rainbow and ling. Most recently, a plant of forage fish was made to boost the walleye fishery, a species that is fast becoming one of Montana's preferred. An excellent trout fishery is developing below the dam due to the cold water released from the depths of the reservoir. The river switches to a warm water fishery the closer it gets to entering the Missouri at Loma.

BLM's Tunnel Lake, located on the scenic Rocky Mountain Front, has been a popular trout and grayling fishing spot for years. It is near both Pishkin Reservoir and Split Rock Lake, noted northern pike fisheries, so the fishing interest at this locality is high.

In addition to the larger waters discussed above, there are numerous mountain streams traversing from national forest lands through BLM and out onto the prairie that contain cutthroat, rainbow, and brook trout. These occur in the Little Belt Mountains, the Big Belt Mountains, the Adell Mountains, along the Rocky Mountain Front, and in the Sweetgrass Hills.