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Author Topic: Medicine Lake NWR?  (Read 2067 times)

Offline KLIKBANGTHUD

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Medicine Lake NWR?
« on: Jan 23, 2023, 02:17 PM »
Anyone have experience fishing Medicine Lake NWR in NE Montana? Toying with the idea of a 7 day road trip and ice hopping lake to lake next year. Saw it on the map, but no reports on here. FWP dosen't offer up much info on it either.

Offline RuralMT

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Re: Medicine Lake NWR?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 23, 2023, 03:25 PM »
I can't offer up any success stories, as I only visited the refuge once while I lived over in Circle, and didn't fish it while I was there.  However, they stock it regularly with pike and the Medicine Lake NWR page mentions ice fishing, so I reckon it's worth a shot.  When I was there, it seemed rather shallow. I'm not sure where the pike would migrate to in the depths of winter.

Offline KLIKBANGTHUD

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Re: Medicine Lake NWR?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 24, 2023, 10:30 AM »
I will have to go check out the NWR site and see what I can find. A buddy of mine thinks that it is pretty shallow, 6-8 feet ish. If I could have good odds of setting some tip ups & picking up some pike, it would probably be worth an overnighter stop on my circuit.

Offline RuralMT

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Re: Medicine Lake NWR?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 24, 2023, 03:27 PM »
With such shallow depths, my concern would be winter kill. I have no idea if it is spring fed or not, but if it isn't, there didn't seem anywhere for them to go to escape it. Can't hurt to try though!

Offline liprippin49ers

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Re: Medicine Lake NWR?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 26, 2023, 02:29 PM »
Be sure to check regs too on there. I've heard you can't use anything motorized on it since it's a refuge, so may have to use a hand auger, but I've honestly never looked into it.

Offline KLIKBANGTHUD

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Re: Medicine Lake NWR?
« Reply #5 on: Jan 26, 2023, 10:59 PM »
That is a wrinkle that I had not thought of. Are those requirements normally due to the fuel source for a gas auger? In other words, no power attachments allowed at all, so no electric augers or cordless drill powered either?

Offline H_Valley_Carpin

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Re: Medicine Lake NWR?
« Reply #6 on: Jan 27, 2023, 09:43 AM »
That is a wrinkle that I had not thought of. Are those requirements normally due to the fuel source for a gas auger? In other words, no power attachments allowed at all, so no electric augers or cordless drill powered either?

Nothing mechanical allowed in Wilderness. No portage wheels, bikes, outboards, gas/electric/propane augers. Looks like some of the backwater areas on the east side are out of the Wilderness, but the main lake is within.



Offline OTTOCAR

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Re: Medicine Lake NWR?
« Reply #7 on: Jan 27, 2023, 10:21 AM »
I would try calling a bar, store, gas station, motel, etc, and just be friendly and ask if there's any fish in there. sounds weird but I have had great success.

Offline Dorado

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Re: Medicine Lake NWR?
« Reply #8 on: Jan 27, 2023, 01:47 PM »
I have never fished it but have driven through there many times when out pheasant hunting.  I have seen tip ups out on in past years.  However, this past November when we drove through, it was super low.  I would call the refuge and see what they say...

Offline pickledpike

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Re: Medicine Lake NWR?
« Reply #9 on: Jan 28, 2023, 11:49 PM »
The water level has been way down the last few years and the fishing quality has largely gone with it.  Little water other than in the river channel.  I havenít heard of anyone trying it this winter.  Doesnít typically produce a lot a big fish so itís not really a ďdestinationĒ type spot.  With consistent water levels,  itís usually decent spot for some action,  but if youíre not from the area,  youíre probably driving past better fisheries.  No power augers (gas or electric) on the main lake other than a sliver west of the highway on the west end of the lake.  Feel free to pm me if youíre in the area and I can give you a more current report.

I might be past there in a couple days and Iíll try to snap a picture of the water level if itís daylight 

Offline KLIKBANGTHUD

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Re: Medicine Lake NWR?
« Reply #10 on: Jan 29, 2023, 11:50 PM »
Thanks for the info. Sounds like it might just be better to bypass Medicine Lake and instead spend that time on Nelson, Fresno, Tiber, Frances, etc. Low water is the name of the game it seems just about everywhere. Hopefully the winter snows and the spring rains keep on coming and things get a reprieve this year.

Offline RuralMT

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Re: Medicine Lake NWR?
« Reply #11 on: Jan 30, 2023, 10:30 AM »
If you were already planning on being in the area, have you considered getting a license for a few days in North Dakota?  Lake Sacajawea is pretty darn close...

Offline KLIKBANGTHUD

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Re: Medicine Lake NWR?
« Reply #12 on: Jan 31, 2023, 07:20 AM »
Actually, thinking of starting at Sakakawea and then hoping our way back. Probably 3 days there, a couple at Peck, and then a couple overnight stops at others on the way back to Helena. Any suggestions? Thanks

Offline REDin13

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Re: Medicine Lake NWR?
« Reply #13 on: Feb 07, 2023, 12:04 PM »
I would suggest looking at MTFWP listing for waters that have a consumption warning for how many fish to eat and their size range. If you are considering keeping some to eat/smoke. Several years ago, medicine lake had one of the worst mercury recordings in Montana and they advised not eating any from there. It may still be listed under this warning.

Offline KLIKBANGTHUD

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Re: Medicine Lake NWR?
« Reply #14 on: Feb 20, 2023, 02:42 PM »
Thanks for the info!

 



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