Did you know in Montana it’s legal to harvest a radio tagged fish? I know what you’re thinking, there’s no way that’s real because almost no other state allows that. Well considering Montana has over 9,000 rivers and streams and more than 2,000 lakes, it’s no wonder they have some pretty outlandish rules and regulations. Some of those radio tagged fish would make a pretty tasty filet, and since you’re fishing in Montana you get to eat them. Hey not to brag or anything but if you don’t read the rest of this article you won’t know the rest of the important information we have thoughtfully provided for you.


Montana Fishing Regulations

The State of Montana has their regulations divided into three: Western District, Central District, and Eastern District. The regulations can differ vastly between districts so please be sure to review those as well as the general rules I have listed here:

  • Fish may be taken only by hook and line or other approved method
  • It is legal to harvest a radio tagged fish, however, the radio tag must be returned to FWP
  • If you would like to fish on someone’s private property you must have their explicit land
  • To prevent the spread of invasive species Montana asks that you thoroughly clean, drain, and dry yourself and anything you brought with you well fishing
  • All watercraft entering Montana are required to be inspected for aquatic invasive species prior to launching in the waters of the state
  • When a water is closed to “Fishing From Boats/Vessels,” an angler may not fish while on any boat or vessel

Fishing License Period

Montana fishing licenses are available as:

  • Daily fishing licenses
  • Annual fishing licenses
  • Lifetime fishing licenses

Extra Licensing Fees

Montana requires that you buy a paddlefish license to fish for paddlefish. They also require you to purchase a bull trout card if you are fishing for bull trout.


Free Or Reduced Fee Montana Fishing Licenses

The State of Montana offers free fishing licenses or reduced fishing licenses for :

  • Any Montana resident 62 years old or older
  • Any Montana resident who is disabled
  • Free fishing license exemptions are available for qualified educational events and fishing clinics
  • Montana residents who have been awarded a Purple Heart

Fishing Licenses Are NOT Required For

Montana residents, and non-residents under 12 years of age are not required to have a fishing license.