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
Longer nights, cooler air temperatures and some much needed rain have brought down the water temperature of several southwest Montana river systems. Therefore, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has lifted the angling restrictions on the Beaverhead, Big Hole, and Jefferson rivers effective Thursday.
(Region 3 - Drought & Fire)
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is alerting the public that angling restrictions will be removed on the Upper Big Hole River on July 18, 2015 as a result of cooler weather patterns. Restrictions may be reinstituted if weather warms and water temperatures rise in the coming weeks.
(Region 3 - Waterbody Restrictions, Closures & Reopenings)
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Enforcement and the US Fish & Wildlife Service wrapped up an investigation today into a recent Craigslist post in which a man claimed to have dumped buckets of Asian carp fry into regional lakes as well as offering two buckets of his remaining fry to anyone wanting them. The post has been determined to have been a hoax.
(Region 3 - Enforcement)
On Thursday, Montana’s Fish & Wildlife Commission approved the sale of over-the-counter bighorn sheep hunting licenses for the Tendoy Mountains as part of an effort to depopulate a chronically diseased herd.
(Region 3 - Fish & Wildlife)
In addition to last week’s “hoot owl” closures on the Jefferson and Big Hole rivers, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will also impose “hoot owl” restrictions on a number of southwest Montana rivers as a result of the continued high water temperatures.
(Region 3 - Recreation News)