Liermann says that liberal limits during the late 20th century, and perhaps whirling disease in recent years, caused brook trout numbers to decline. Georgetown Lake FISH SURVEY AND MANAGEMENT DATA Paul Winkle, Aquatic Biologist, Denver paul.winkle@state.co.us / 303-291-7232 … Lake Georgetown also supports a low-density white crappie population. The project was funded through the Granite County Conservation District with a grant from the state They also investigated the composition and concentrations of the water’s phytoplankton and zooplankton—tiny plants and animals suspended in the water column. Georgetown is famous for its damsel fly hatch. Georgetown Lake is a 2,818-acre reservoir in Deer Lodge and Granite Counties, Montana. But it often occurs in winter, when ice blocks sunshine and wind action ends. It also sports a big-horn sheep viewing area and plenty of places to set up a family picnic. By 1886, most of the residents of the Georgetown camp had abandoned the flats. Surveys here include the use of gill nets. Luebeck recalls a day two summers ago when his son’s friend pulled in a brookie that weighed over 6 pounds. Ice anglers learn where underground seeps feed the lake with oxygen, causing fish to congregate. The lake is surrounded by the Flint Creek Range to the north and the Pintlers to the south. Georgetown Lake is all about adventure, relaxing, spending time with family and friends, and reveling in the beauty that surrounds us. In addition to He adds that FWP manages Georgetown Lake’s rainbows as a harvest fishery. summer and winter. The department stocks roughly 200,000 rainbows per year, and the fish grow fat in the shallow, productive lake. The department then began to allow anglers to keep two brook trout as part of the five-fish daily limit. Ice anglers tend to focus on either salmon or trout while at Georgetown. 8:56. Georgetown Flats was the location of a placer mining camp operated by George Cameron from 1867. BEST TECHNIQUES: Ice fishing. Georgetown Lake, Anaconda, Montana. Concerned that their increasingly popular lake was being loved to death, members of the Georgetown Lake Homeowner’s Association began looking into ways to fund a water quality study. Because water is released from the dam’s base, some nitrogen and phosphorus is regularly flushed out of the lake system. Non native, exotic species Rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax; Gars It’s been that way for decades. Rainbow trout, brook trout, lake trout, bass, carp, etc. Georgetown Lake is technically a reservoir, originally created in the late 19th century by impounding North Fork Flint Creek in a meadow known as Georgetown Flats. Pretty trout! Also in the area, though more rare, are wolves, mountain lions, lynx and probably an occasional migrating grizzly. Georgetown Lake Fishing. Recent netting surveys suggest that Georgetown Lake contains fewer trophy brook trout since FWP began allowing anglers to keep two. The 2009 results show that rainbow trout (stocked) comprised the larg-est percentage (76%) of the spe-cies present, followed by brown trout (23%) and a few longnose suckers. Currently, fresh water species. 7 DAY OUTLOOK: Georgetown is iced up. The Lake is at an elevation of 6,337 just west of the Anaconda Range, 15 minutes west of the town of Anaconda and 15 minutes south east of Philipsburg. “We want people to be able to take fish home, so we let them keep five rainbows,” Liermann says. From Missoula, travel approximately 50 miles east on I-90 before taking exit 153 for MT-1 toward Drummond/Phillipsburg. As a shallow lake sitting high at 6,400 feet, Georgetown is sheathed in ice from mid-November to May. Let's face it, there's a lot we can learn and share from one another like what bait or lure is generating the best results. nutrients in the lake are being used, with more now in the form of aquatic vegetation and less in the form of phytoplankton,” says the research scientist. The average size trout is much larger than you’d find in many other reservoirs. For more information, contact: Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest 420 Barrett St. Dillon, MT 59725-3572 Ph: (406)-683 … “Winter­kill,” common to ponds in eastern Montana, can result in large numbers of fish suffocating from too little dissolved oxygen. We apologize for any inconvenience. Liermann says rainbows of 15 to 20 inches are common, with an occasional fish reaching 22 inches, or about 5 pounds. All Rights Reserved. We suspect the cause for the decline to be drought and whirling disease. Caught just before 5pm. Today Georgetown’s Fortunately no major fish kills have occurred over the last three decades. In 1901, Flint Creek Dam was enlarged by the Montana Water, Electric Power, and Mining Company to produce electricity for nearby mining operations. Stafford’s project also called for mapping, from an airplane, the lake’s abundant beds of whitestem pondweed and comparing the coverage to maps from 1975 and 1981 that were created by a Montana State University graduate student. Oct 20, 2018 - Georgetown Lake. Georgetown Lake Fishing. References “People love this lake as a place where they can come up and catch rainbows and kokanee and take them home,” Liermann says. Continue 37 miles south on MT-1 and then turn right onto Georgetown Lake Road. “These are heavy fish that tend to put on more mass than river fish, because they don’t have to fight current all day,” he says. The lake also attracts boaters, windsurfers, waterskiers, snowmobilers, and campers from throughout western Montana and beyond. Anglers from throughout western and central Montana come to Georgetown to put the non-native fish in their coolers. One major finding in Stafford’s study is that the Georgetown Lake’s dissolved oxygen levels at the end of ice season have been falling over the years, perhaps as a result of more weed bed decay. Tweet. Status of the Fishery: 5/16/2018--A partial fish kill was reported and observed. Birds of prey are numerous with any number of hawk species including red tail, cooper, rough legged, Northern goshawk; bald and golden eagles and the occasional falcon. Stuart Mill Bay, located in the southeast corner of the lake, is a shallow cove rimmed with low bushes and wetlands; perfect damselfly habitat. At the end of the ice season in April and May, only the top 3 feet or so of Georgetown’s water column under the frozen surface contains enough dissolved oxygen for trout and salmon survival. He says that for years anglers were allowed a daily limit of ten fish or 10 pounds of fish, which resulted in high harvests that reduced the average size of rainbow trout to just 10 inches long. Fish, Wildlife and Parks are investigating why dead fish washed up on the shores of Georgetown Lake over the weekend. “I don’t know of any easily accessible lake in Montana where you can catch brook trout that big,” Liermann says. The Lake has four public boat ramps. Forty-three percent of the land around the lake is public making the lake and the surrounding hills home to a diversity of wildlife. Angling. With 25 miles of shoreline that winds along bays, inlets, and points, Georgetown Settled 18 miles west of Anaconda, this is a popular destination for Montana's outdoor enthusiasts year-round. “When a lake produces lots of plant growth, that produces lots of aquatic invertebrates, which in turn produce lots of fish,” he explains. Yes, we said 26" rainbows. Though much of the shoreline is private, visitors can find several U.S. Forest Service, FWP, and other camp­grounds to set up a tent or park an RV. During the fall is the best time to fish for the large brook trout that are found in Georgetown Lake. This is Mason's first fish through the ice after enjoying some sunshine, What a surprise he has! Libby, MT: Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Annual Report prepared for U.S. Department of Energy Bonneville Power Administration. Nutrients tend to sink. Their concern was that booming cabin and home development were overloading the water with nutrients. Residents worry The lake is equipped with handicap-accessible fishing docks and a maintained trail that borders the entire lake. Since then, says Liermann, the lake’s rainbows have grown to average about 14 inches. bad Weather Forecast. Rimmed by the Pintler Mountains, it’s also among the state’s most beautiful. 1; Details; Aug, 06, 2017 CHUCK LOFTIS 0. With the additional housing have come dozens of new septic An important reason, says Liermann, has been the way in which water releases are managed. There are also a variety of owls, the largest of which is the great gray owl that stands 29” and can often be seen perched on a branch or a rail post or skimming through the trees. Otherwise, Rock Creek is a good option nearby, though. Dec 25, 2016 - Georgetown Lake. Big Sky Outdoors - Ice fishing with the guys from Snappy's - Duration: 23:42. systems, which can leach nutrient-laden wastewater. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality contributed too. ! At Georgetown Lake Kokanee salmon is the most sought after species, followed by rainbow trout. “[Septic system] nutrients may not be in the water, but they are in the lake system as vegetation. Within less than a decade, numbers had increased tenfold. Georgetown Lake: Georgetown lake is one of Southwest Montana's most scenic lakes. Hatching in early July, delicate bright blue and black barred damsel flies are the target of the lake’s big rainbows. On winter weekends, portable ice fishing huts, makeshift shanties, and anglers braving the cold and wind dot the lake’s eastern side just off Montana Highway 1. “You can walk right down to the lake and see big fish just cruising the shoreline.”. You need an 8-pound-test tippet to handle those fish and muscle them up and out of the weeds.”. Georgetown Lake is Montana’s premier flatwater fishery. OUR TIPS OF THE WEEK: Get the ice hut out. He found that the amount of vegetation has expanded substantially over the past 30-plus years. Lake. 13 miles west of Anaconda on Hwy 1, turn onto Georgetown Lake Road and travel southwest about 1.5 miles to FAS sign. A detailed fishing report for the Georgetown Lake will make the difference between a good fishing here and a bad one. That may have been too liberal. In 2004, FWP instituted catch-and-release-only regulations on the colorful eastern United States native and began supplementing the population with hatchery fish. Hebgen Lake arguably offers the best dry fly lake fishing in Montana. is framed by the Pintler, Sapphire, and Flint Creek Mountains contained within the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. With this management approach, the lake ends up with the best of both worlds—two different fisheries for people who want fish for the freezer and another one for those wanting the brook trout of a lifetime.”. “That could indicate a shift in how the Georgetown is one of Montana’s better-known ice fishing lakes. When those plants die during a long winter with extended ice cover, we may see some severe dissolved oxygen depletion.”, Different species Order: Perciformes, Family: Sciaenidae. Recreation: Georgetown Lake is a prime destination for fishing and fly fishing with kokanee salmon, rainbow and brook trout being the most sought-after species. And, for a good reason. Georgetown Lake Fishing Reports Recently shared catches and fishing spots. Is that in store for Georgetown Lake, a scenic mountain paradise and one Conditions At-a-glance. Georgetown Lake is a reservoir located just 17.3 miles from Anaconda, in Granite County, in the state of Montana, United States, near Echo Lake (historical), MT. Rainbow Trout with a worm. Details: Rainbow Trout. “Georgetown’s bottom withdrawal may also be a factor in the paradox of declining nutrients in the face of increasing housing development,” Stafford says. Sep, 08, 2019 - Georgetown Lake. Pautzke Bait 5,085 views. Among the countless variety of other birds are blue heron, loons, various woodpeckers and sand cranes. There are also badgers, porcupines, pine martins, skunks, muskrat, mink, weasels, ermine, rabbits, ground squirrels, gophers and a great variety of mice, moles and voles. hydropower and downstream irrigation, as well as sustain a popular recreation lake for boating, swimming, and fishing. Natural Resource Damage Program. Anyone have a bead on the location of any springs? Biologists observed 500+ adult dead fish. Though Stafford didn’t evaluate the amount of nutrients added by the household wastewater facilities, he speculates that more phosphorus and nitrogen is entering the lake. Growing development has encircled the scenic, high-altitude lake with homes. In the right amounts, aquatic vegetation is great for fish, says Liermann. In the mid-1980s, FWP tightened the limit to five fish per day. Good morning from Georgetown Lake +23, 8-13 sw, and +24” of ice!!! “My kids Georgetown Lake has four public boat ramps. Georgetown Lake also holds a healthy, self-sustaining population of kokanee salmon, another popular food fish. Anglers looking for trophy trout focus their attention on the lake’s non-native brookies. “One of the biggest causes of low dissolved oxygen levels in winter is too large of a drawdown,” he explains. 9 likes. “If the lake were drawn down just another 1.5 feet, that would take away 50 percent of the habitable water for these fish.”. But one thing has remained the same: Georgetown continues to produce top-notch trout and kokanee salmon fishing for anglers of all abilities. Hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers will find no shortage of trails within a few miles of the campground. This story is featured in Montana Outdoors May-June 2014 issue, Steve Luebeck of Anaconda grew up fishing nearby Georgetown Lake. “It was a world-class brook trout,” he says. Georgetown Lake Fishing Reports Recently shared catches and fishing spots. Rainbow trout can be taken all summer long, particularly during the strong caddisfly hatch the lake has during July and August. Georgetown Lake is a popular recreation area for boating, fishing, camping and windsurfing. There are also large numbers of gray and red fox, coyote and bobcat. Georgetown Lake’s rainbow trout, brook trout, and kokanee salmon fisheries remain productive. Liermann says FWP cooperates with the Granite County commissioners (the county owns the dam), Flint Creek Water Users, Georgetown Lake Homeowner’s Association, and U.S. Forest Service on water management. 2006-008-00, Contract Nos. Georgetown Lake is considered a Blue Ribbon fishery and holds trophy-sized rainbow and brook trout. This biological process rarely happens in summer and fall, when sunlight reaches underwater plants and wind stirs water, adding oxygen from the surface. Among the predators, black bears are a common sight and residents are cautioned not to leave garbage cans, bird feeders and pet food where bears can get to them. Gary N. Aug, 22, 2017 - Georgetown Lake. As if these giant rainbows weren’t enough – there are numbers of brook trout over 16” and many exceeding 20”! us | Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. “At the hookup, there’s a big, explosive run. Ice Fishing Montana's Georgetown Lake - Duration: 8:56. Dodging winterkill Liermann says the Woke up early and couldn't go back to sleep.. talked myself into going fishing for a half day. Game birds include blue and Franklin’s grouse, Hungarian partridge, mallard, teal, merganser, and other ducks and geese. primary purpose is to store water for 358 p. Tempest Technologies. Blue, channel, and flathead catfish are present in the reservoir. Great catch! What about all those new septic systems? Our Report. Georgetown Lake is a popular recreational area with campgrounds, resorts and picnic areas along its 17.36 miles of shoreline. What’s more, recent FWP population surveys found that Georgetown continues to support abundant and healthy fish populations, though the average size of its kokanee has declined. A smaller species than the rainbow, brook trout in most lakes rarely reach 14 inches. The shallow 2,088-acre lake is extraordinarily prolific, producing some of the best trout and kokanee salmon fishing in the state and attracting more angling pressure per acre than any reservoir in Montana. oxygen levels, Stafford and his crew measured nitrogen and phosphorous. “But with brook trout, we want Georgetown to be a place where you can catch a trophy. Our Philipsburg location, Flint Creek Outdoors, is open 7 days a week, 7:30a-5p. The Lakehouse offers the perfect complement to a memorable visit to Georgetown Lake. department is considering dropping the limit to one brook trout per day or using some other more restrictive regulation in a further attempt to maintain or increase trophy-sized fish in the lake. In winter, Georgetown Lake is used for ice fishing and snowmobiling. We have a friendly, casual Lounge with excellent bar staff. The Montana Fishing Guide will be periodically unavailable Tuesday, April 12. Brown Trout with a Rapala ulm6 . Whether it can continue doing so may depend largely on how many people build homes on the scenic lake’s shoreline and whether those who use its water for a wide range of purposes can continue to work cooperatively. | Sitemap | Contact Different species Georgetown Lake’s rainbow trout, brook trout, and kokanee salmon fisheries remain productive. DECISION NOTICE Georgetown Lake Brook Trout Population Enhancement Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks 3201 Spurgin Road Missoula, MT 59804 (406) 542-5500 DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED PROJECT The brook trout population has declined to record lows and is a unique and sought after part of the Georgetown Lake fishery. “We took various measurements over two years and compared them with the past data.”. But that could change, says Pat Saffel, FWP regional fisheries manager in Missoula. My cousin and I enjoying a great night out on the lake after work! Georgetown Lake is located 18 miles west of Anaconda, MT, off MT Hwy 1. The Georgetown Lake, located just off I-70 is the easiest to access fishing location in the area. of Montana’s most productive and popular sport fisheries? Stafford suspects that the smaller size may be due to lower densities of zooplankton, the salmon’s preferred food. 7; Details; Jennifer Trentham. 48555 and 53910. In many lakes, the excess nitrogen and phosphorus can make water murky, grow thick mats of vegetation, and result in fewer fish. Being such a large lake, along with its location on a high plateau near Yellowstone National Park, creates windy conditions at times. For now, Georgetown is able to produce this remarkable combination. But in recent years, area residents have feared that Georgetown’s great fishing might be threatened. Moose, elk, white tail and mule deer are abundant residents. 1; 21; Details; Oct 21, 2018 Shawn Gearinger 0. Native species Stonecat, Noturus flavus; Non-native, exotic species Black bullhead, Ameiurus melas; Yellow bullhead, Ameiurus natalis; Drum. In Georgetown they can top 20 inches. In winter, the abundant vegetation dies, which can cause fish die-offs due to oxygen depletion. The department stocks roughly 200,000 rainbows per year, and the fish grow fat in the shallow, … of his former students. most abundant species in Georgetown Lake. Fall however provides some excellent fishing for large brook trout. Big horn sheep have recently moved into the area from the large herd in Anaconda with numerous sightings of large rams close to and around the lake. have caught 20-inch rainbows right off the beach,” says Luebeck. We apologize for any inconvenience. Access to lodging, restaurants, casinos and a marina. Georgetown Lake is set within the Deer Lodge National Forest. Stop in and talk to Josh for … Canoeing and boating are also popular activities. Because the lake is relatively shallow, ice forms and fishing generally begins earlier than many of the other Montana lakes. With an average depth of 16 feet, the lake is relatively shallow and much of the lake bottom is weedy providing excellent cover for the fish and habitat for the insect larva, aquatic insects and the fresh water shrimp that make up a … He’s seen it change through the years, with more anglers and, especially, more shoreline houses. FWP and graduate student researchers had previously accumulated extensive water quality data before the lake was heavily developed. “State biologists have been measuring winter dissolved oxygen levels since the 1970s,” Stafford says. Georgetown Lake Updated 12/16/2020 at 12:49am. You don’t need to travel to Labrador to see fish like this – they live … “The goal has been to maximize pool storage before and during winter, while balancing other important water uses such as irrigation for downstream landowners,” Liermann says. Georgetown Lake Montana is built by Also keeping Georgetown healthy are two tributaries that provide fresh water to the lake as well as extensive groundwater that boosts dissolved oxygen in some spots. My last day is Sunday at 5pm for this icefishing season till December! Its quality fly fishing, combined with its scenic and convenient location near West Yellowstone, make Hebgen Lake a popular destination for both local and visiting anglers. Georgetown consistently ranks in the top 10 most-fished waters in Montana. The potential for wind, combined with the lakes large size, makes m… Too much nitrogen and phosphorus in a lake can boost the growth of aquatic plants. A very slow midsummer this year, fewer fish are out and about with such warm surface water temperatures. In 2009 Craig Stafford, a University of Montana researcher, began to study the lake’s water quality with help from several Independent Record outdoor writer Tom Kuglin with a brook trout caught through the ice at Georgetown Lake. Flooding the flats Georgetown Lake is one of Montana’s premier blue ribbon fisheries offering nearly year round angling for trophy rainbow and brook trout and kokanee salmon. UPDATE 3/5/2019: MFWP crew gill netted Georgetown Reservoir in September 2018. There are also badgers, porcupines, pine martins, skunks, muskrat, mink, weasels, ermine, rabbits, ground squirrels, gophers and a great variety of mice, moles and voles. Anglers travel great distances to drill holes through the ice here. Tourists can take in the lake from the Anaconda-Pintler Scenic Route (Montana Highway 1) running along Georgetown’s east shore. Conor Russell. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”. The trout and salmon draw anglers He adds that FWP manages Georgetown Lake’s rainbows as a harvest fishery. “The only drawback is that when you let people keep that many, there’s going to be a limit on how large the average fish size can get.”, Luebeck, the Anaconda angler, says he mainly pursues rainbows, fly-fishing from a boat. Order: Salmoniformes, Family: Osmeridae. Fishermen will find a variety of fish including catfish, white bass, flathead catfish, rainbow trout, perch, bullhead, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and blue catfish here. But the real attraction is rainbow trout in the 16"- 26" range. At Georgetown Lake Kokanee salmon is the most sought after species, followed by rainbow trout. Birds of prey are numerous with any number of hawk species including red tail, cooper, rough legged, Northern goshawk; bald and golden eagles and the occasional falcon. Copyright © 2003-2017 Montana Outdoors. But the additions have been more than offset by increased nutrient uptake by aquatic vegetation and the loss of nutrients when bottom water is released from the dam’s base in winter. State fish stocking records date to the 1920s, according to Brad Liermann, the local biologist for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. “It’s a very delicate system,” Saffel says. Bonneville Power Administration Project No. Hector Razo. Liermann says rainbows of 15 to 20 inches are common, with an occasional fish reaching 22 inches, or about 5 pounds. Native species Freshwater drum, Aplodinotus grunniens; Smelt. The research scientist found that, contrary to expectations, nutrient concentrations in Georgetown Lake’s water have actually declined, leading to less phytoplankton and clearer water than in years past. “It goes right up the food chain.”. It is a large; 3,000 acre, high; over 6,000 feet, mountain lake. Nick Gevock, conservation director for the Montana Wildlife Federation in Helena, spent many days fishing Georgetown Lake while working as a journalist in Butte. That’s fine when plants are alive. But after vegetation dies, microbes consume it, using up the water’s dissolved oxygen with their activity. Philipsburg location, Flint Creek Outdoors, is open 7 days a WEEK, 7:30a-5p dissolved. Water’S dissolved oxygen with their activity may be due to lower densities of zooplankton, the salmon’s preferred food shoreline..., can result in large numbers of fish suffocating from too little dissolved oxygen levels winter... The 1970s, ” Liermann says rainbows of 15 to 20 inches are common, with an occasional reaching. Any easily accessible Lake in Montana Outdoors May-June 2014 issue, Steve Luebeck of Anaconda grew up fishing Georgetown! Roughly 200,000 rainbows per year, and reveling in the 16 '' - 26 '' range Lounge excellent! 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