Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks describes the Gallatin River as about twelve miles long from its origin at the confluence of the West and East Gallatin rivers to Three Forks, Montana, where it joins the Jefferson and Madison rivers to form the Missouri River. The river flows through a narrow valley consisting of agricultural and grazing lands at elevations less than 5,000 feet. The banks are primarily undercuts, and long, deep pools provide much of the fish cover. Except for the East and West Gallatin rivers, tributaries to the Gallatin River are limited to a few spring creeks. Water can be slightly turbid year-round due to the sediment input from the East Gallatin. The Gallatin River below the confluence of its forks suffers from sedimentation, warm water temperatures, dewatering, and the presence of M. cerebralis, the causative agent of whirling disease. Trout populations decline in the lower river due to these factors and a variety of other cumulative impacts.
Total Length: 97 miles
FWP Region: Region 3
Fishing District: Central Fishing District
Game Fish Opportunities:
Brown Trout, Mountain Whitefish, Rainbow Trout
All Species Present:
Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Longnose Dace, Longnose Sucker, Mottled Sculpin, Mountain Sucker, Mountain Whitefish, Rainbow Trout, White Sucker, Whitefish, Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout
NOTE: There may be game fish present (including Species of Concern) that are not listed in the game fish category due to low numbers for that fish. Until you identify your catch, please handle all fish carefully. Thank you.
Fishing Access Sites include:
Kirk Wildlife Refuge: River Mile 46
Axtell Bridge: River Mile 37
Shed's Bridge: River Mile 33
Cameron Bridge: River Mile 27
Erwin Bridge: River Mile 24
Four Corners: River Mile 16
Gallatin Forks: River Mile 13
NOTE: All river Fishing Access Sites (FAS) are listed in descending order by river mile from headwaters to mouth. The mouth of a stream is its confluence with another body of water and is considered mile 0.
For additional information including Montana fishing regulations and licenses please see Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks website.