The Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks’ latest results on statewide angling pressure were just released. The survey is conducted every two years. The last survey completed was in 1999.
Some highlights of the survey indicate that over 3 million angler days were enjoyed in Montana. (An “angler day” is one angler fishing one body of water for any length of time on a given day).
Residents accounted for 75 percent of angling pressure and 87 percent of all anglers were going after trout in a stream, river or lake.
Canyon Ferry received the most use of any body of water in the state with 119,886 angler days. Fort Peck Reservoir received the largest amount of angling pressure for any warm water fishery. It ranked second in the state for usage with 112,018 angler days.
Anglers seeking walleye, bass, and other warm water fish produce 137,425 angler days on streams and 221,108 angler days on lakes.
July is the busiest month for anglers. The month makes up 15.7 percent of the year’s activity. This compares with December as the slowest month at only 2.7 percent of fishing activity.
The most heavily-fished region of the state is Region 3 of southwest Montana. Not surprisingly, the Upper Missouri River drainage experiences the most use according to the 1999 survey.
SALMON – It looks like the Clearwater River in Idaho is starting to offer up some of those salmon I have been telling you about.
The river is still high but is clearing up and anglers are starting to do better. Some reports say anglers are catching their limits or close to it.
The experts still feel the salmon-fishing peak is still a week or two away.
If you want to visit the Idaho Fish and Game site that reports on the salmon catches and runs log onto to www.montanaoutdoor.com web site or call Stu Kestner at 208-476-5418.
SALMONFLIES – The salmonfly hatch on Rock Creek is still a week or so away. It might hit just in time for the general fishing season opener, scheduled this year for Saturday, May 19.
OTHER FISHING – Warmer weather is warming the local water temperatures.
Fishing for perch, northern pike and bass should be getting better as the surface water temperature gets into the 50-60 degree range.
Get out and enjoy it and take Mom along – so she can really have a Happy Mother’s Day!