By Robert Lucke
Even though drought conditions are continuing right into January, still there are a few good places in north-central Montana to experience the thrill of catching or spearing fish through the ice.
Kent Gilge, fish biologist with the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks Havre office knows all of them.
"Take Bear Paw Lake," he said. "Ice fishermen are catching good numbers of trout and big ones. That is so neat."
For the ice fisherman looking for trout, only Bear Paw Lake and Reser Reservoir north of Lohman show much promise this time of year.
Ice anglers looking for perch, pike and walleye need look no further than Beaver Creek Reservoir and Bailey's Reservoir south of Kremlin.
In fact, the southern end of Beaver Creek Reservoir is an ice house village on cold days.
"You have to remember that most of those are spearing houses," Gilge said. "They are set in shallow water so that fishermen can see down into the water. In fact, with the low water, the creek channel itself is visible and it is a highway for fish. They go up and down the channel."
Looking for northern pike? Head to Lyons Reservoir between Lloyd and Cleveland. It is a hot spot these days.
And there is Faber Reservoir just fresh from its year 2000 rehabilitation. There are lots of rainbow trout in it, not very big this winter but watch out next year.