Fresno Reservoir in North Central Montana has been a popular fishery following impoundment in 1939. This mainstem reservoir typically supports and average of 12,350 angler days annually since 2001 and is ranked 5th regionally and 63rd statewide for angling pressure.
The majority of angling pressure comes from local (Hill County-73%), anglers with surrounding communities rounding out the top 3 (Cascade - 9.7%, Blaine - 4.7%, Choteau counties - 2.3%). In most years the bulk (75%) of the angling pressure occurs in the summer months with limited ice fishing activity.
Following the introduction of walleye in 1957 Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) placed primary management focus on walleye. On most years, Fresno supports the highest relative abundance of walleye of any fishery in Montana. In addition, yellow perch, black crappie, northern pike and lake whitefish round out the fishery. Rainbow trout were stocked from 2002 to 2003 with limited success. In an effort to develop a more diverse fishery and satisfy requests for stocking, rainbow were again stocked in 2020. These fish were stocked as catchables (7”-8”) in early October to avoid predation.
This will be the first official Fisheries Management Plan developed for the Fresno Fishery. The Plan will be completed in 2021 and will serve to guide fisheries management for a five-year period (2022-2026).
To learn more, download the Charter for the Fresno Reservoir Fisheries Management Group (PDF)
Please call (406) 228-3700 or email email@example.com if you have questions about the Fresno Reservoir Fisheries Management Plan Advisory Committee application process.