Fishing

Red Rock Creek 512

Fishing is permitted on the refuge in designated areas and seasons only and a Montana State license is required. Please read all applicable fishing regulations. 


Native cutthroat trout, mountain whitefish, and arctic grayling, rainbow trout, cutthroat-rainbow hybrids, brook trout, and suckers can be found in refuge waters. Mottled sculpin are often seen by people walking along Odell and Red Rock Creeks. Rainbow trout and brook trout were introduced to the valley as early as 1889.  

Historically the waters of the Centennial Valley were thick with arctic grayling, native cutthroat trout, and other fish. Now their numbers are fairly low, due mostly to change in historical land uses and competition from non-native fish. Red Rock Lakes NWR is trying to restore our native fisheries. Please help us by practicing catch and release fishing on our native cutthroat trout and arctic grayling. Feel free to keep your limit of the rainbow, cutthroat-rainbow hybrids and brook trout, all of which are not native. All Arctic grayling must be released immediately. 

 

 We allow fishing on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with Montana state fishing regulations subject to the following conditions:      

   All Grayling must be immediately released.   

 1. All Refuge streams and creeks are open to fishing in accordance with Montana state fishing regulations except for necessary closures to protect nesting trumpeter swans or spawning Arctic grayling and their restoration efforts.

 2. Fishing is allowed on Widgeon Pond and Culver Pond in accordance with Montana state regulations and when not frozen. These ponds are open to fishing from the bank only, except for necessary closures to protect nesting trumpeter swans.  Float tubes and boats of any kind are not allowed on the ponds.   

 3. Fishing is prohibited on all other refuge waters to include Upper and Lower Red Rock Lakes to protect migratory nesting birds and other wildlife.  

 4. Fishing is only allowed with pole and line or rod and reel.  

 5. The use of felt-soled wading boots is strongly discouraged in order to prevent the introduction of whirling disease and other aquatic invasives into refuge waters.  

 6. The use of bait for fishing is prohibited; only artificial lures or flies is permitted.  

 7. The use or possession of lead sinkers or any lead fishing product while fishing is prohibited.  

 8. Camping along roadsides is prohibited. Camping is allowed only in two established campgrounds. Camping is restricted to 16 consecutive days within any 30-day period. Horses are prohibited in the campgrounds. All bear attractants including, but not limited to, food, garbage, and carcasses, must be acceptably stored at night (unless in immediate use) and during the day if unattended.  

 9. Please clean and thoroughly dry your fishing gear and waders before entering refuge and other waters. 

 Find more information with the on-line  Guide to Fishing on National Wildlife Refuge