Walleye fishing is good at Lake Frances and Tiber Reservoir, according to interviews with anglers on the two north central Montana reservoirs.
“Walleye fishing is pretty darn good on Frances and excellent on Tiber,” says Dave Yerk, Fish, Wildlife and Parks fisheries biologist in Choteau.
Yerk bases his information on weekend creel surveys at the two water bodies. Each weekend through the summer, fisheries workers ask anglers a series of questions at boat launches at Tiber and Frances.
“We ask about angler harvest, how long they’ve been fishing, what they are fishing for, what they’re using, and where they are from,” Yerk says.
The surveys have occurred each summer since the early 1990’s. So far this year, Yerk has discovered that anglers are catching more but smaller walleye at Tiber, and fewer but bigger fish at Frances.
“The average size walleye on Frances has been about 16.7 inches. That’s a nice walleye,” Yerk says. “They are considerably smaller on Tiber, just 13.8 inches.”
Yerk attributes Tiber’s smaller sized walleye to lack of food. Different forage fish species introduced into the reservoir over the years – spottail shiners and cisco – are benefiting northern pike and lake trout but not walleye.The surveys will continue through Labor Day – even if the fish stop biting.