Information about fishing in Lincoln County and the Kootenai National Forest.

Montana State Records*:
Rainbow Trout
   33 lb 1 oz, 38.6"

  Kootenai River, 1997
Mountain Whitefish
   5 lb 2 oz, 21.14"

  Kootenai River, 1987

Fishing on Lake Koocanusa Reservoir
Boating and fishing on Lake Koocanusa Reservoir

[Fish Stocking Page] [ Lincoln County Stream Information Page] [Species Info]
West Fisher RiverMontana lakes and streams are home to rainbow, brook, brown and cutthroat trout. The Kootenai River is considered a blue-ribbon trout fising river. Lake Koocanusa contains trout as well as kokanee salmon. Montana's record small mouth bass was caught on a Kootenai National Forest lake.

To fish in Montana, most anglers need two licenses: a Conservation License and a Fishing License. A Conservation License is needed before you can buy any fishing or hunting  license that Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) issues. Beginning March 2000, conservation license applicants will need to provide their social security  number in addition to the information usually requested. Resident fishermen can now purchase a two-day fishing stamp and season license.

Ice fishing on McGregor Lake. Photo by Maggie Craig.A fishing license allows a person to fish for and possess any fish authorized by the state's fishing regulations. It is nontransferable and nonrefundable. The license enables one to fish from March 1 through the end of February of the following year.

Check the current Montana Fishing Regulations for regulations for specific waters.

What License(s) Do I Need To Fish In Montana? See the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks website for current fishing license information:


Game Fish
All species of the family Salmonidae (chars, trout, salmon, grayling, cisco and whitefish); all species of the genus Stizostedion (sauger and walleye); all species of the genus Esox (northern pike and tiger muskellunge); all species of the genus Micropterus (bass); all species of the genus Polyodon (paddlefish); all species of the family Acipenseridae (sturgeon); the genus Lota (burbot or ling); and the species Ictalurus punctatus (channel catfish). Bull trout are defined as any trout with white leading margins on the lower fins and no markings on the dorsal fin.

Fishing Hours
Fishing is allowed at all hours during open fishing seasons unless otherwise specified.

Ice Fishing
Two rods and/or lines may be used to fish through ice on all lakes, reservoirs, or ponds open to fishing in the Western and Central districts. The maximum size hole that may be used for ice fishing is 144 square inches (12 inches by 12 inches), in waters not open to spearing. Ice fishermen using shelters must follow regulations as to identification and removal at season's end. http://www.fwp.state.mt.us/fishing/reggen.html#Anchor-LICENSE-47857

Brook trout
Bull trout
Cutthroat trout
Northern Pike
Rainbow trout
Other Useful Links:
Montana Fishing Regulations

For further information contact:
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Region 1
490 North Meridan Rd
Kalispell, MT 59901
(406) 752-5501

Kootenai National Forest
506 US Highway 2 West
Libby, MT 59923
(406) 293-6211

Montana Rivers Information System
(including fisheries info)


Click here to link to local fishing Outfitters & Guides


All page content copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Photos by LibbyMT.com unless otherwise credited.
Ice fishing on Thompson Lakes photo by Maggie Craig.
Fish graphics modified from the Montana Fishing Regulations book.
"Jumping Fish" graphic by Custom Graphics-Dawn Ballou, copyright 2004

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