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Location: Central Idaho
Joined: 08/24/2003
Posts: 5
Montana Question

Hello, I'm considering hunting the Fort Peck reservoir area of Montana this fall in November. I would be using a jet river boat and camping somewhere on the shoreline of the reservoir. Can anyone tell me anything about this area? Is it all Public land? I am just starting to get some information and maps and would like any information that I can get. Thank you in advance for any information.

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Location: Aleknagik Alaska / Ozello Keys Florida
Joined: 07/05/2004
Posts: 186
Montana Question

I have hunted the area on horse back, It is a really great area. I am unsure of the reg's on the shore line camping question but I am sure you will find the info on that.. I saw some huge Northern Pike in the bays there and wished I had a skiff along. They plant King Salmon in the reservoir there right from the boat ramp. They return to the ramp after their run in the lake and the sportsman is allowed to fish them, Matter of fact they are planted there for the sportsman to fish them....Now you can't get that kind of varity just any where, Mule Deer,Elk. Pike and Chinook Salmon all in one trip not to mention that the area will provide some fantastic photo opportunities.. Have a great trip and let us know how it goes..

~Jeff~

bitmasher's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
Montana Question

Definitely OT, but....

Kings in fort peck !!

Maybe I'm going to have to make a trip to MT. Surely they don't get as big as the alaskan variety do they?

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Location: Aleknagik Alaska / Ozello Keys Florida
Joined: 07/05/2004
Posts: 186
Montana Question

Yes there are kings in Fort Peck, I know when the run comes in they fish them from the boat ramp. I am sure they are fishable around the lake from a skiff most any time.
I did some quick research and bingo here's the facts;

Chinook (King) Salmon
Carl L. Niles
31 lb. 2.08 oz.
38
26.5
10/2/91
Fort Peck Reservoir 
 
Montana
United States

http://www.montanaoutdoor.com/newsletter.php3?id=272

The king salmon fishing at Fort Peck Reservoir continues to be a mystery to anglers including me.
I went last weekend and fished four days for those chinooks, lake trout and walleye. The lakers were the only species cooperating on a consistent basis. We ended up with 15 over the three days.
We zeroed on the walleyes and hooked three salmon. The salmon hook-ups all came on the first day, as we boated just one of these tough fighters. The other two salmon benefited from biting off the line just above the squid and from a tangled line around our 10-pound downrigger ball. With the salmon apparently hooked we set the hook on the line and it broke off.
The next day another angler found a 20-pound salmon floating nearby with a flasher and squid that matched what we were using the day before.
The locals are still hoping for some better action on the salmon for September.

http://www.fwp.state.mt.us/fieldguide/detail_AFCHA02050.aspx

One of two Pacific salmon species in Montana, the chinook salmon, was introduced into Fort Peck Reservoir during the 1980s in an effort to produce a trophy fishery. Like all Pacific salmon species, the chinook dies after spawning. It is doubtful that these fish will reproduce in Fort Peck, but due to their intense homing instinct they will return to where they were stocked when they are ready to spawn. They may then be captured and artificially propagated in the hatchery. While still experimental, chinooks of over 25 pounds have already been captured in Montana. Chinook, also known as "king salmon", are intense fish predators as adults.

So they are not quite like the 60 and 80 lb kings one might catch in Alaska, but a king is a king and a 20 to 30 pound fish can give you a great fight.
The Kings in the photo below were taken by buddy Craig and I while fishing the Togiak river in southwest Alaska.

PreviewAttachmentSize
Togiak Kings.jpg
Togiak Kings.jpg41.2 KB
bitmasher's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
Montana Question

Thanks for the extended info. Yes 20-30 pounds is a lot smaller, but hey MT is a lot closer to CO than AK.

First time I fished for kings (in ak) I used a trout pole. It was a rude awakening.

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