To fish or not to fish? What a silly question! Where can I legally fish is the question. The Flathead Indian Reservation encompasses over 400 miles of fishing streams and seventy thousand acres of lakes. Fishing is open on lakes, ponds, potholes, and reservoirs all year. The Flathead and Jocko Rivers are also open to fishing the entire year, with additional restrictions (see current regulations). The Tribal Fisheries Program reminds the public that fishing on streams, canals and ditches is not open until the third Saturday in May through November 30, each calendar year! This delay is to protect fish that are staging and spawning in select tributaries. 

We also remind the public that the CS&KT Tribal Council resolution passed on March 31 to temporarily suspend recreation on tribal lands to non-residents of the Flathead Indian Reservation is still in place, until further notice. This resolution also restricts residents of the Reservation to Day-use recreation only. For community residents who chose to recreate on Tribal Land, we remind them that Tribal conservation permits are required for individuals 12 years of age and older. Fishing permits are also required for non-member residents 14 years of age and older, both can be purchased on-line. Please visit Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks website at

Remember that bears and other wildlife use riparian areas as travel corridors. One of the best ways to ensure safety is to travel in a group of three or more people and make noise. Make loud noise especially when in dense brush or near running water where surprise bear encounters are likely to take place. Proper use of bear spray has proven to be the best and most effective method for fending off threatening and attacking bears, and for preventing injury to the person and animal involved. 

Please see the current regulations for additional regulations. For more information, contact the Natural Resources Department at (406) 883-2888.

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