A Montana Lake Will Have No Fish Catching Limits This Summer
It's anything goes as far as the number of fish Montana anglers can catch on one specific body of water. And why is that, you ask?
Earlier this year we shared the news that Lake Elmo near Billings is going to have to be drained. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks plans to drain Lake Elmo starting in October and leave it dry through the winter to eradicate invasive Asian clams found in 2019. Biologists believe the destructive clams are limited to Lake Elmo. So, the plan is to freeze, starve and dry the invasive clams.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), the fish can't be moved to another body of water, as that might further spread the clams. Any fish remaining in the lake when it is drained will have to perish along with the invasive clams.
FWP would rather have anglers catch and keep the fish. Therefore, anglers will be able to catch and keep as many fish as they want this summer at Lake Elmo. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will lift creel and fish-length limits on the lake starting May 1. And good news for the lake's users: FWP fisheries and parks officials also are planning construction to improve fish habitat, angler access and visitor convenience while the lakebed is dry.
This announcement comes on the heels of the news that a state record largemouth bass was just caught in Lake Elmo. Besides largemouth bass, species now in the lake include cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, at least one sub-40-inch tiger muskie, yellow perch, pumpkinseed sunfish, carp and several species of sucker.
While there will be no limits on the number or length of fish caught and kept, anglers still must have a valid fishing license and adhere to other rules and laws set by fishing and park regulations.
If you are in the Billings area this summer, make sure your fishing gear is packed.