Brett French reports: Trout vs. walleye on Missouri River above Canyon Ferry
By angelamontana

Posted: May 23, 2024

Walleye numbers have climbed on the Missouri River in the 23-mile stretch from Canyon Ferry to Toston Dam. Earlier this month, the Fish and Wildlife Commission held a work session to try to understand the gap between what Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is recommending versus what Montana Walleyes Unlimited is requesting. Under FWP’s management plans, the short portion of the river is supposed to be managed as a wild trout fishery. About $2 million has been spent restoring spawning streams in that short span of the river to boost brown trout and rainbow numbers. It seems to be paying off for rainbows, but brown trout continue to struggle. Walleye in the river are moving out of Canyon Ferry, from April to around October, and trout advocates and FWP worry the predacious fish are eating trout. To meet the demands of its plan, FWP is proposing to change the river’s walleye regulation in the 2025-26 seasons from 10 daily, only one over 15 inches to five fish daily. The FWP argument is that many of the fish in the river are over 15 inches. Walleye anglers are worried that change will affect the reservoir fishery. No action will be taken until the October commission meeting, providing time for FWP to gather additional information for commissioners and anglers.

For more on this story, check out my article at

Written by Brett French | Outdoors Editor for Billings Gazette Communications
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