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An elk on a hillside.

About FWP > Regions Region 5 (South Central Montana)

Bordered by the Beartooth and Crazy mountains in the southwest and the prairies to the east, Region 5 is a land of contrast.

The area's 5 state parks offer opportunities from visiting archaeological sites, to boating and fishing, blacktailed prairie dog viewing, and an exploration of the home of the last chief of the Crow Indians.

Recreation opportunities abound on the Yellowstone, Stillwater, Bighorn, and Boulder Rivers. Fisherman cast their lines for Yellowstone cutthroat, brown, and rainbow trout; smallmouth bass; and channel catfish. Boaters enjoy a leisurely float or maneuver the class IV rapids on the Stillwater River.

A variety of upland game birds, deer, and antelope on the prairies to the east, and bear and elk in the mountains offers a diversity of hunting opportunities.

Hikers in the vast Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness enjoy the scenery and abundant wildlife including bighorn sheep, mountain goats, moose, elk, and bears. An array of high mountain lakes offers beautiful vistas and fishing holes for cutthroat, rainbow, brook, and golden trout.

Bighorn Lake Live Bait Fish Import Permit

This permit allows anglers to legally transport live bait fish across the Wyoming state line into Montana for use while fishing the Montana portion of Bighorn Lake. Live bait fish may be obtained from a licensed bait dealer in Wyoming authorized to sell bait fish for use in the Wind/Bighorn Drainage in Wyoming or with a Wyoming seining/trapping permit valid for the waters listed on the permit. This permit also allows Montana anglers to transport legally obtained live bait fish from Montana down through Wyoming and back into Montana for use in the Montana portion of Bighorn Lake as long as the import restrictions on the permit are followed.

To Request a Permit Call 406-247-2940.

Email: Myles Steinmetz

What's happening in Region 5

Outdoor news and events in south-central Montana

Fishing in South-central Montana

Broadview Pond FAS

Region 5 is home to 47 fishing access sites

Fishing Access Sites 
Basin Lake

Northwest Montana is known for its lakes and rivers

Region 5 waterbodies 
Silver Lake

Mountain Lakes Guide for the Absaroka Beartooth and Crazy Mountains

2021 Guide 

Contact Us

Region 5 Headquarters

2300 Lake Elmo Drive

Billings, MT 59105

Phone: 406-247-2940
Fax: 406-248-5026


Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Driving Directions: From Highway 87, or Main St. Turn west on Wicks Lane. Lake Elmo Dr. is the first street. Turn right (north). The office is 1 mile north of Wicks Lane at Lake Elmo State Park.

Region 5 check station