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Fish Habitat

Habitat is the KEY to fish and wildlife management in Montana.  Habitat is simply the place where an organism lives.  To survive, animals must have an “address” that includes food, water, shelter (or cover), and space. These elements must be arranged in such a way that all the elements are available to the animal. Our fish and wildlife resources cannot exist without habitat.

Habitat for our fisheries resources consists of a 3-legged stool of essential elements.  These three elements are:

1. Water Quantity

adequate water flow in our streams and satisfactory water levels in our lakes and reservoirs;

2. Water Quality

water of suitable quality to sustain healthy populations of aquatic life and;

3. Physical Habitat

streambeds, stream banks, riparian areas and cover that combine to form a favorable environment.

A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community.  It is wrong when it tends to do otherwise”

- Aldo Leopold

Future Fisheries

For more than a decade, FWP's Future Fisheries Improvement Program has worked to restore rivers, streams and lakes to improve and restore Montana's wild fish habitats. About $750,000 are available each year for projects that revitalize wild fish populations. Learn more

Water Management

Learn about current river conditions, low flow responses, instream flows, and stream flow protection. Learn more

Montana Lake Book

The Montana Lake Book explains how lakes function, how they are threatened and how they can be protected. It also spells out simple actions you can take to help protect and preserve the lakes of Montana.