Montana 2012-2015 Fishing Regulation Changes Approved
By Hookemharry

Posted: October 22, 2011

The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission has approved 44 fishing regulation changes for 2012-2015.

“During the recent public comment period we heard from nearly 500 anglers on the proposed regulations,” said Don Skaar, supervisor of the FWP fish management section. “Based in large part on these comments, the FWP Commission also approved revisions to three of the previously proposed regulations.”

The revisions were:

  • the Missouri River trout limit from Holter Dam to Cascade was set at three trout daily, one over 18 inches, and only one may be a brown trout;
  • the Yellowstone River trout limit from Yellowstone National Park to the I-90 bridge in Billings was set at four rainbow and/or brown trout daily and in possession, only one over 18 inches; and
  • the Central and Eastern District catfish limit was changed to 10 daily, 20 in possession.

Skaar said the remainder of the regulation changes were approved by the commission as proposed, including 14 related to sport fish management. For example, on the Bitterroot River, two catch-and-release sections were combined, and the one over 14-inch restriction on brown trout in the East For was removed, and rainbow trout harvest on the East and West forks eliminated.

In other approved fishing regulation changes:

  • 12 clarify, standardize or simplify existing regulations;
  • 10 support native species conservation—species like bull trout, sauger, and cutthroat trout; and
  • eight establish family fishing waters, where there will be catch and release angling only for adults and some harvest for children 14 years of age and younger.

Montana’s fishing regulations are reviewed every four years. The public is engaged through local area meetings and invited to make recommendations. FWP presents the revised fishing regulations to the FWP Commission for tentative approval followed by a 30 day public comment period.

To review the 2012-2015 fishing regulations adopted by the Commission, go to the FWP website at on the Fishing page and click on 2012-2015 Fishing Regulations.