Fishing

About the Fishing Companion

Jointly developed by the Montana State Library and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks the Fishing Companion is designed to provide answers to four questions that anglers ask:

  • When can I fish?
  • Where can I fish?
  • How do I fish?
  • What can I fish?

When to Fish

Fishing Seasons and Hours: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' table showing fishing season information.

Eastern Fishing District: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' online map and description of the Eastern district.

Central Fishing District: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' online map and description of the Central district.

Western Fishing District: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' online map and description of the Western district.

USGS Real-Time Data for Streamflow: United States Geological Survey online, real-time information about stream flow rates. Browse the left column to find the stream of interest. Learn the long-term, median flow and the current discharge rate using the first two columns in the table. NOTE: Please review the information provided via the site’s Provisional Data Subject to Revision link.

Where to Fish

Fishing Access Sites: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' online application for finding a developed fishing access site that is managed by the state. Search options include name of Fishing Access site, proximity to a town, lake, or stream; by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region, and by accessibility level.

Angling Access at Montana Dams: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' online resource describing restrictions to fishing access near dams.

Stream Access in Montana: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' online information about river and stream access rights (and limitations) for fishing Montana’s waterways in locations that are not state-developed fishing access sites. Of particular importance are laws regarding access near private land.

Water Restrictions, Closures, and Reopenings: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' online information about current restrictions and closures of Montana’s waterbodies.

Fishing Reports: Guidance with finding online fishing reports.

How to Fish

What Licenses do I need?: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' online resource describing the kinds of licenses required to fish Montana’s waters. Licenses vary based on age and residency. Additional requirements exist for certain locations or species fished.

Get Licenses: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' online information about the two fishing licenses required of all anglers as well as fishing permit applications.

Fishing Regulations: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' online documents describing fishing regulations by district and water body. The regulations are updated each year. You can also use the Montana Field Guide to learn about and identify different species of fish. Note: The Montana Field Guide lists all fish species in Montana. Please consult the Fishing Regulations to determine whether or not a species can be fished.

Angler Education: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' online directory of angler education resources.

Fishing Ethics and Etiquette: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' online resource describing ways to be a considerate recreationist in Montana’s waterways.

Montana Boating Laws: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' handbook associated with their Boat Ed comprehensive boat safety course.

Boater’s Checklist: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' handy list of pre-launch activities as well as required and suggested items needed for a boating trip.

What to Fish

Montana Native Fish: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' online resource describing Montana’s native fish, their habitat, their management, and a table showing each native fish with their game and conservation status.

Montana’s Fish Records: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' online information about record-breaking fish caught in Montana and how to record a possible record-breaker.

Fishing Regulations: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' online documents describing fishing regulations by district and water body. The regulations are updated each year. You can also use the Montana Field Guide to learn about and identify different species of fish. Note: The Montana Field Guide lists all fish species in Montana. Please consult the Fishing Regulations to determine whether or not a species can be fished.

More about Fishing: A link to the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' fishing website that provides in-depth information about fishing.


FWP MSL
  • Montana State Library
  • P.O. Box 201800, 1515 East 6th Avenue
  • Helena, MT 59620-1800
  • Phone: (406) 444-3115
  • Fax: (406) 444-0266
  • msl.mt.gov