SO YOU WANT TO TRY SPEARFISHING?
If you thought getting a nibble or strike on a fishing line was fun, then you’ll think spearfishing is a rush. Whether you are snorkeling or Scuba Diving, in freshwater or salt, spearfishing is a blast! For those of you who enjoy hunting season, don’t worry about the long break away from your passion. You can spearfish all year long! Family Fun Scuba & Snorkel will have Spearfishing Derbies every summer and a travel destination for the annual Scuba and Spearfishing Jamboree. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.
Spearfishing laws differ in Montana and Wyoming when spearfishing. Please be aware of the following:
First and foremost, you have to purchase a fishing license and WY Conservation Stamp (unless you are 14-18 years old accompanied by a licensed adult).
- Nonresident Fishing License $92.00
- Nonresident Daily Fishing License * $14.00
- Nonresident Youth Annual Fishing License (between 14th & 18th birthday) $15.00
- Wyoming Conservation Stamp $12.50
Underwater Spear Gun Fishing
Fish may be taken by underwater spear gun fishing only in lakes. No person shall use an underwater spear gun to take game fish underwater without obtaining a fishing license. The use of artificial light to take game fish with a spear gun is prohibited.
No game fish may be taken unless the underwater spear gun fisherman is completely submerged. All spears used on spear guns shall be attached to the speargun with a lanyard with a maximum length of twenty (20) feet. Underwater spear gun fishing is not permitted within one hundred (100) yards of any designated swimming or water ski areas, boat dock, ramp or spillway.
A diver’s flag shall be displayed on the water when diving or underwater spearfishing. It shall be a rectangular flag that is either blue and white in color (alpha flag) or red in color with a white diagonal stripe (diving flag), not less than twelve (12) inches x twelve (12) inches and displayed no less than three (3) feet above the surface of the water. The limit on walleye taken when spearfishing shall be two (2) walleye per day or in possession, except where designated as non-game fish or where otherwise provided for Alcova Reservoir (Area 5).
For more information on spearfishing go to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department Website.
First, you have to have a fishing license and conservation stamp before you get started spearfishing. Montana’s laws for spearfishing are a little touchy and need to be researched VERY closely! We strongly advise that you visit the Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks website to see where and what you can fish. This is what we found:
On Page 22 of the FWP website it states the following about the Western District: All waters are closed to spearing of game and non-game fish.
On Page 48 of the FWP website it states the following about the Central District: In all waters open to fishing, non-game fish may be taken with rubber or spring propelled spears by persons swimming or submerged. Rubber or spring-propelled spears may be used only by persons swimming or submerged in the water and may be used only for designated species in designated waters.
On Page 76 of the FWP website it states the following about the Eastern District: Spearing In all waters open to fishing, non-game fish, northern pike, burbot (ling), walleye and whitefish may be taken with rubber or spring-propelled spears by persons swimming or submerged. Spears or gigs may be used through the ice for non-game fish, northern pike, walleye, sauger and burbot (ling).
Also, spears (gigs) and bows count as lines for purposes of determining line limits.
Montana apparently has no laws or regulations requiring divers to use dive flags. Also, dive flag laws (per state and region) pertain to both divers and boaters. Divers have a responsibility to display the flag, and boaters have a responsibility to heed them. Differences between the dive flag laws in different places can include the minimum distance a boater can pass to a vessel displaying a dive flag as well as the height and and size of the flag.
Boaters: If there is a Scuba float/flag, this means there are scuba divers in the area. Montana law requires that motorboats stay at least 200 feet away from a DIVER DOWN flag. Violators may be subject to a fine of $500 or 6 months imprisonment, or both. MCA 23-2-525.