Backcountry Lakes & Fishing
The backcountry fishing in Glacier National Park can range from excellent
to mediocre at best. The reason for this wide change in the quality of
the backcountry fishing is simple - these high mountain lakes lack the
fertility and nutrients to spawn large fish. Some lakes, due to this,
are completely fishless. Other lakes will have tons of starving little
fish that will gulp in your finger if given half the chance.
Yet, some of the backcountry lakes (defined as the lakes where hiking
is required to reach them), can provide splendid fishing. And, of course,
even if the fishing is just so-so, who cares? After all, the backcountry
lakes in Glacier National Park all have one thing in common - and that
is incredible scenery in a splendid and unspoiled environment.
Reaching some of the backcountry lakes in Glacier National Park can
require quite a bit of effort on the park of the angler. Other lakes
are just a simple hour walk or less to reach. As such, before picking
out a lake on a map and blindly heading out, make sure you know how much
vertical you will be gaining, how long the hike is, and the type of terrain
the trail passes through. If you're out of shape or will be carrying
a float tube, venturing up to Trout Lake may not be the best of ideas.
If you've never hiked in Glacier Park before, visit our Hiking
Glacier National Park section, for detailed information about good
hiking practices in the park.
Backcountry Lakes of Glacier National Park
The links below lead to detailed pages that describe the backcountry
lakes of Glacier Park that are covered on this site. If you want information
about the larger "front country lakes"...or those lakes that
you can DRIVE too, visit the Glacier
Park Lakes section.
Overview of Fishing Regulations for Glacier National Park
When fishing in Glacier National Park, a fishing license is NOT required,
provided all your fishing is done within the park itself. A Montana fishing
license will be required if you plan on fishing in any of the rivers
that form the southern and western borders of the park. General park
fishing season is from the third Saturday in May, through November 30,
with some exceptions.
While keeping fish is highly discouraged in the park, it is also not
illegal. Here are the general fishing limits for Glacier National Park.
Be sure to check the latest park
fishing regulations for additional regulations:
Daily catch and possession limits will not exceed five (5)
fish, including no more than: two (2) cutthroat trout, five (5) burbot
(ling), five (5) northern pike, five (5) whitefish, five (5) kokanee
salmon, five (5) brook trout, five (5) grayling, five (5) rainbow trout,
five (5) lake trout (mackinaw).
Fishing for bull trout is prohibited and any bull trout incidentally
caught must be immediately released.
Fish caught in Lower McDonald Creek (from the Quarter Circle
Bridge and upstream, extending into Lake
McDonald for a radius of 300 feet) must be handled carefully and
released immediately to the stream/lake. Only artificial flies or lures
with a single hook may be used in Lower McDonald Creek. No fish of
any species may be in possession at any time along this stream/lake.
Fish caught in Hidden Lake and outlet must be released, except
when closed for spawning.
When cleaning fish,use garbage cans where available for entrail
disposal. When cleaning fish in the backcountry, puncture the air bladder,
and throw entrails into deep water at least 200 feet from the nearest
campsite or trail. Do not bury or burn entrails, as they will attract
bears. Why? Keeping fish parts lying around is a wonderful way to invite
a Grizzly Bear to dinner!
Overall, Glacier National Park lacks some of the finer backcountry fishing
that is found in places such as Yellowstone National Park. However, a
few gems do exist, all of which require some effort to reach. For anglers
willing to spend the time to get there, they can experience the beauty
of fishing a pristine and quite mountain lake while catching fish too.
Hiking Gear & Equipment Guide for Glacier National
What kind of rain jacket to get for hiking...and why
Big Sky Fishing.Com
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