- Lake Koocanusa provides anglers with some peaceful solitude and a chance to hook some trout
- Not far from Libby, Montana
- The best fishing is from a small boat, or from the shore in some spots during spring and summer
- Lake Koocanusa is open to fishing year round
Overview of Location
Lake Koocanusa is a 90-mile long lake formed by the 422 foot tall Libby Dam. It extends from Montana to Canada and its relative isolation, compared to Flathead Lake and Whitefish Lake, keep Lake Koocanusa free of crowds. Although home to a wide variety of fish, Lake Koocanusa makes for a nice scenic destination rather than a sought after fishing hole.
Type of waterway
You will be the most successful if you fish from a small boat given the huge size of the lake. You can fish from the shore in a few places during the spring and summer.
Libby Dam greatly affects the level of the lake. During the times when the dam uses water for power production, lake levels can be very low, especially during years of drought. Low water levels can make it difficult to launch fishing boats.
Lake Koocanusa is open to fishing year round. Of course, you’ll need a Montana fishing license and you must abide by all Montana fishing regulations. To be noted: burbot fishing is open only from mid-January through February.
Most common fish species
The fish you will find in Lake Koocanusa include rainbow trout, whitefish, Kokanee salmon, cutthroat trout and bull trout.
Directions for accessing the lake
It is not difficult to reach Lake Koocanusa. It is northeast of Libby, Montana and west of Glacier National Park. Highway 37 runs along the east side of the lake for several miles. On the west side, you'll find a bumpy dirt road. Both sides bear numerous boat landings. Some are public while others are private.
Because the lake tends to be low and the fishing does not compare to the fishing near the Libby Dam, Lake Koocanusa isn’t the dream destination of most anglers. However, if you are looking for solitude, spectacular scenery, and great camping, Lake Koocanusa is a perfect fit.