SATURDAY, APRIL 1, 2017
CENTRAL MONTANA FISHING EDITION
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From big rivers to small creeks and huge reservoirs to
stock ponds, Central Montana offers anglers a little bit of
everything. Below is a list of fishable waters in the region,
along with the type of fish and the general location, which
corresponds with the map on the facing page. All of the
waters below have some public access and/or are stocked
each year by the Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Fish, Wildlife and
Parks policy is to stock lakes and ponds; flowing water is not
1. Big Spring Creek: Originates four miles southeast of
Lewistown. Flows 26 miles northwest until it empties into
the Judith River. Primary species: brown and rainbow trout.
No stocking occurs.
2. Frog Ponds: Located on south side of Lewistown, bor-
dered by Airport Road and Spring Street. Primary species:
Rainbow trout. The upper pond is stocked with 1,250 trout
at different times of the season; the lower pond is stocked
with 1,000 trout.
3. Big Casino Creek Reservoir: Located 1.5 miles south of
Lewistown off Castle Butte Road. In 2015 and 2016, there
were 5,000 2-inch largemouth bass stocked in the reservoir;
in prior years some crappie were stocked. Rainbow trout and
small perch have also been reported in recent years.
4. Hansen Creek Reservoir – Located 6 miles southeast of
Lewistown, just east of Big Spring Trout Hatchery. Primary
species: rainbow trout. Stocked annually with approximate-
ly 6,000 4-inch rainbows.
5. East Fork Reservoir: Located 11 miles southeast of
Lewistown on Route 238. Primary species: northern pike,
perch. In 2017, 1,000 rainbow trout will be stocked at East
6. Crystal Lake: Located 30 miles south of Lewistown on
Crystal Lake Road. Primary species: rainbow trout.
Typically stocked twice per year with 1,000 fish.
7. Ackley Lake: Located 25 miles west of Lewistown,
near Hobson. Primary species: Rainbow trout. Will be
stocked this year with 45,000 rainbows. In 2015, for the
first time Ackley received 5,000 tiger muskie ranging from
1.5 to 4 inches in length.
8. Judith River: Originates in Little Belt Mountains,
flows east and then north until it reaches Missouri River
near the PN Bridge. Limited public access. Primary spe-
cies: trout in upper reaches; catfish, warm-water fish in
lower reaches. No stocking occurs.
9. Upper and Lower Carter Ponds: Located 7 miles north
of Lewistown off Hwy. 191. Primary species: Rainbow
trout. Ponds were treated in 2015 and all fish were elimi-
nated due to illegally planted bluegills. Ponds were re-
stocked in 2016 with trout of varying sizes, and in 2017 the
Upper pond will be stocked with 3,000 rainbow and the
Lower Pond will receive 1,500 rainbow. Traditionally, very
productive trout reservoirs.
10. Warm Spring Creek: Originates at Gigantic Warm
Springs west of Brooks off state highway 81. Flows west
until reaching the Judith River. Primary species: trout, bass,
11. Upper Missouri River: Portion which flows through
Central Montana includes the Wild and Scenic portion
north of Winifred as wells as the Upper Missouri River
Breaks National Monument and portions of the Charles M.
Russell National Wildlife Refuge. Primary species: Catfish,
sauger, paddlefish, sturgeon, walleye, and many others.
12. Fort Peck Lake: Primary access point in Central
Montana is Crooked Creek Recreation Area. Can be
accessed near Bohemian Corner off Hwy. 191 or at Winnett
off Hwy. 200. Both routes include around 50 miles of
gravel road. Primary species: walleye, northern pike, small-
mouth bass, perch, crappie, salmon, and many others.
Stocked annually with: walleye, northern pike, Chinook
salmon, smallmouth bass. Reports of 10-15 pound Chinooks
have been received.
13. Petrolia Reservoir: Located east of Winnett, off Hwy.
200. Primary species: walleye, perch, northern pike.
Scheduled to receive 20,000 walleye.
14. Yellow Water Reservoir: Located 12 miles south of
Winnett. Primary species: In recent years, has had abun-
dance of carp and suckers and trout fishing has been poor.
However, FWP continues to stock with trout, including
1,000 this year.
15. Missouri Breaks reservoirs: There are a number of
reservoirs in the Missouri River Breaks area east of Roy
and north of Winnett that are stocked annually by the FWP
and provide excellent fishing for panfish, bass and trout.
16. Deadman’s Basin Reservoir: Southeast of Harlowton
near Shawmut, the reservoir is 2,000 acres and can be up to
100 feet deep at normal water levels. Irrigation use during
the summer means significant draw down may occur. A
fishing access site is on the southwest end of the lake,
although most of the fishing is by boat. Large trout, both
rainbow and brown, have been reported. This year the lake
will be stocked with 200,000 rainbow, 100,000 Kokanee
salmon and 20,000 brown trout.