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Welcome to FWP Region 3

FWP's administrative Region 3 is located in southwest Montana and includes the counties of Beaverhead, Broadwater, Gallatin, Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, Madison, Park, Silver Bow, and part of Deer Lodge. Region 3 encompasses 18,089 square miles, which is more than 12% of the total land area of Montana. About 60% of the region is made up of public lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.

Southwest Montana is made up of broad valleys comprised of prairie habitats of grasslands, sagebrush, and wooded riparian areas rising to foothills and mountains as high as 11,000 feet in elevation. Most of the lower lands are privately-owned, while most of the higher reaches are federally-owned by the U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management.

Region 3 is home to 9 state parks, including Montana's oldest—Lewis and Clark Caverns—and Bannack State Park, the site of the first Territorial Capital. The region is headwaters to some of the most renowned trout rivers in the U.S., including the Madison, Gallatin, Jefferson, upper Missouri, upper Yellowstone, Beaverhead, and Big Hole. About 26% of Montana's angling takes place in Region 3, and the region boasts 95 fishing access sites. Big game hunting is a major draw in southwest Montana. Approximately 50% of the elk harvest in the entire state happens in Region 3.

Recent Region 3 News

Big Hole Trout Fungus Update


An outbreak of a fungal infection known as Saprolignia occurred on the Big Hole River in the fall of 2014. The outbreak was centered on a stretch of the Big Hole from Jerry Creek to Brownes Bridge affecting mainly spawning brown trout. Through their spring population surveys, fisheries biologists have recorded a notable drop in the brown trout population in that area. However, they conclude that the previous record high brown trout population in the river likely contributed to the spread of the fungus in 2014.

(Region 3 - Fish & Wildlife)

New Office Hours in Butte


Starting Monday, April 13, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ Butte Area Resource Office (1820 Meadowlark Lane) will change its hours of operation to 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

(Region 3 - Fish & Wildlife)

Reminders for Shed Hunters


With the arrival of spring and melting snow, shed hunters have taken to the hills in search of cherished shed elk antlers. It’s an annual ritual for many; some seeking a fun way to get out in the field, and others hoping to turn found antlers into profit. With that said, shed hunting can be competitive, and may cause some to consider breaking the rules, or to overlook the impact on wildlife or potential dangers to themselves.

(Region 3 - Recreation News)