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SPEARFISHING IN MONTANA

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A valid fishing license is required for spearfishing in Montana.

Western District Spearing
All waters are closed to spearing of game and non-game fish, except as noted under special regulations. Rubber or spring-propelled spears may be used only by persons swimming or submerged in the water and may be used only for designated species in designated waters. Only hand-propelled spears may be used through the ice.

Central District Spearing
In all waters open to fishing, non-game fish may be taken with rubber or spring propelled spears by persons swimming or submerged. Rubber or spring-propelled spears may be used only by persons swimming or submerged in the water and may be used only for designated species in designated waters.

Eastern District Spearing
In all waters open to fishing, non-game fish, northern pike, burbot (ling), walleye and whitefish may be taken with rubber or spring-propelled spears by persons swimming or submerged. Spears or gigs may be used through the ice for non-game fish, northern pike, walleye, sauger and burbot (ling).

GAME FISH: All species of the family Salmonidae (trout, salmon, grayling, whitefish, cisco and chars); all species of the genus Sander (sauger and walleye); all species of the genus Esox (northern pike and tiger muskellunge); all species of the genus Micropterus (bass); all species of the genus Polyodon (paddlefish); all species of the family Acipenseridae (sturgeon); the genus Lota (burbot or ling); the species Percaflavescens (Yellow perch); all species of the genus Pomoxis (crappie); and the species Ictalurus punctatus (channel catfish).
• Bull trout are defined as any trout with white leading margins on the lower fins and no markings on the dorsal fin. (Note: it is unlawful to intentionally fish for bull trout in any waters unless specifically authorized in the Western Fishing District Regulations.)
• Cutthroat trout are defined as any trout with a red or orange stripe under its jaw.
• Sauger are defined as any Sander (sauger/walleye) with multiple small, distinct black spots on the spiny (first) dorsal fin
ray membranes.

WARM WATER GAME FISH: Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, sauger, black crappie, white crappie, channel catfish , yellow perch, northern pike, pallid sturgeon, paddlefish and tiger muskie.

NON-GAME FISH: Any wild fish not otherwise legally classified by statute or regulation of this state.


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Disclaimer:
This article is a general guideline and is for information purposes only. Information is from the MT Fish & Wildlife Parks website. MT Fish & Wildlife Parks rules, laws, and regulations may change from time to time. It is the fishermans responsibility to ensure he/she is following all the current regulations set forth by MT Fish & Wildlife Parks. We love the sport and want to keep it active, Please Spearfish responsibly!

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