The 10-year fisheries management plan for Fort Peck Reservoir expired in 2022 prompting FWP to update the next 10-year plan. This is the fourth, 10-year management plan for the popular reservoir fishery. Each plan has been developed with regional and state-wide public input that works to establish clear management direction for the Fort Peck fishery.
Management Plan Goal
The goal of this plan is to emphasize the walleye fishery utilizing walleye production from Montana warmwater hatcheries while maintaining and enhancing the multi-species fishery that includes northern pike, smallmouth bass, chinook salmon and lake trout. Success of the sport fishery also relies on a sustainable forage base including pelagic and shoreline forage species.
The biologically-based components for fisheries management of the Fort Peck fishery include relative abundance targets for walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, sauger, lake trout, chinook salmon, shoreline forage, and pelagic forage (cisco). In addition, there are guidelines for fishing tournaments on Fort Peck.
Over the last decade, walleye populations and other gamefish species in Fort Peck Reservoir have been at or slightly above their long-term average. Favorable runoff from higher elevation snowpack and generally increasing reservoir water levels has resulted in very good habitat and forage conditions. These conditions have greatly benefited the sportfishery and have led to Ft Peck becoming a destination fishery for large walleye, lake trout, chinook salmon and smallmouth bass.
Those interested in the management plan or having questions about the fishery are encouraged to call FWP in Glasgow at 406-228-3700.