Fishing Regulation Changes Taking Effect on Swan River

Fishing Regulation Changes Taking Effect on Swan River

Catch-and-release only for rainbow trout on Swan River; single-pointed hooks downstream of Piper Creek Bridge

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks reminds anglers of new fishing regulations that are taking effect for the Swan River this month.

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission approved fishing regulation changes on the Swan River at its April 17 meeting. The commission approved changing the catch-and-release requirements on the Swan River to include rainbow trout. Previously, only cutthroat trout were catch-and-release.

Additionally, from Piper Creek Bridge downstream to Swan Lake, anglers can only use single-pointed hooks. Treble hooks and double hooks are prohibited on this stretch. Anglers may remove treble or double hooks from the lure and replace them with a single hook, or the shanks may be cut off the other hook points to leave a single hook. Lures with multiple hook attachments may still be used but any treble hook must be replaced by a single hook.

In the Western District, fishing opens on most rivers and streams, unless otherwise specified in the regulations, on the third Saturday in May through Nov. 30. This year the opener is May 18, which is when the new Swan River regulations will go into effect.

Anglers should consult the complete list of regulations for waterbodies in the current fishing regulations booklets, which can be found at and anywhere fishing licenses are sold. The 2024 fishing regulations booklet was already printed when the commission approved the Swan River amendment, and signs are being posted at popular access sites along the river to inform anglers of the recent change.

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