Big Lost River

Tributary of the Dry Channel Big Lost River

  • Recommended Fishing Water

Big Lost River in Butte and Custer Counties is 134.9 miles in length.

The Big Lost River drainage provides a high quality stream fishery for anglers. Species present include brook trout, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and mountain whitefish. The scenery is outstanding, particularly in the upper reaches of the river. The river is intermittently dewatered downstream of the Blaine Diversion near the Rothwell Access site.

Facilities

Motor Restriction
No
Boat Ramp
No
Dock
No
Toilet
Yes
Campground
Yes
ADA Access
Yes

Directions

The Big Lost River drainage is located on the western edge of the Upper Snake Region. The river runs through the town of Mackay, and extends upstream to the Copper Basin. Make sure you have all the supplies you need before venturing past Mackay, as there are no services past this point. See the Fishing Planner Interactive Mapper for detailed information on facilities and access sites.

Recommended Game Fish

Species Observed in Surveys

Fish Stocking Records

Date Species Quantity General Size
2023/11/03 Rainbow - Troutlodge Triploid 3,017 Fry (0-3 inches)
2023/11/02 Rainbow Unspecified 102 Adults
2023/10/31 Rainbow - Hayspur Triploid 1,644 Catchable (6+ inches)
2023/10/26 Rainbow Unspecified 232 Adults
2023/10/18 Rainbow - Hayspur Triploid 373 Catchable (12-14 inches)
2023/10/02 Rainbow - Hayspur Triploid 1,788 Catchable (12-14 inches)
2023/08/24 Rainbow - Hayspur Triploid 430 Catchable (6+ inches)
2023/08/01 Rainbow - Hayspur Triploid 434 Catchable (6+ inches)
2023/06/29 Rainbow - Hayspur Triploid 2,078 Catchable (6+ inches)
2023/05/01 Rainbow Unspecified 435 Catchable (15-19 inches)
2021/07/12 Rainbow - Hayspur Triploid 948 Catchable (12-14 inches)
2021/06/21 Rainbow - Hayspur Triploid 1,498 Catchable (12-14 inches)
2019/06/28 Rainbow - Troutlodge Triploid 3,000 Catchable (6+ inches)
2017/04/27 Rainbow Unspecified 252 Adults
2016/10/14 Henrys Lake Cutthroat 19,910 Fingerling (3-6 inches)
2016/09/22 Rainbow - Troutlodge Triploid 1,000 Catchable (6+ inches)
2016/04/13 Rainbow - Troutlodge Triploid 4,512 Fingerling (3-6 inches)
2006/09/22 Rainbow - Troutlodge Triploid 1,710 Catchable (6+ inches)
2006/09/20 Rainbow - Troutlodge Triploid 1,020 Catchable (6+ inches)
2003/06/25 Rainbow - Hayspur Triploid 26,400 Fry (0-3 inches)
2002/07/22 Arlee Rainbow 900 Catchable (6+ inches)
2002/07/08 Arlee Rainbow 500 Catchable (6+ inches)
2002/06/26 Arlee Rainbow 500 Catchable (6+ inches)
2002/06/10 Arlee Rainbow 525 Catchable (6+ inches)
2001/08/24 Arlee Rainbow 350 Catchable (6+ inches)
2001/07/24 Arlee Rainbow 518 Catchable (6+ inches)
2001/07/10 Arlee Rainbow 500 Catchable (6+ inches)
2001/06/19 Arlee Rainbow 500 Catchable (6+ inches)
2001/06/05 Arlee Rainbow 499 Catchable (6+ inches)
2001/06/01 Rainbow - Hayspur Diploid 400 Catchable (6+ inches)
2000/07/24 Arlee Rainbow 500 Catchable (6+ inches)
2000/07/10 Arlee Rainbow 500 Catchable (6+ inches)
2000/06/26 Arlee Rainbow 500 Catchable (6+ inches)
2000/06/13 Arlee Rainbow 500 Catchable (6+ inches)
1999/07/20 Arlee Rainbow 612 Catchable (6+ inches)
1999/07/13 Arlee Rainbow 340 Catchable (6+ inches)
1998/07/21 Arlee Rainbow 1,013 Catchable (6+ inches)
1998/07/07 Arlee Rainbow 585 Catchable (6+ inches)
1998/06/22 Arlee Rainbow 1,050 Catchable (6+ inches)
1998/06/09 Arlee Rainbow 578 Catchable (6+ inches)
1997/08/08 Rainbow - Hayspur Diploid 120 Catchable (6+ inches)
1997/07/22 Rainbow - Hayspur Diploid 576 Catchable (6+ inches)
1997/07/09 Rainbow - Hayspur Diploid 580 Catchable (6+ inches)
1996/08/20 Rainbow - Hayspur Diploid 60 Adults
1996/07/22 Rainbow - Hayspur Diploid 780 Catchable (6+ inches)
1996/07/08 Rainbow - Hayspur Diploid 750 Catchable (6+ inches)
1996/06/27 Rainbow - Hayspur Diploid 1,500 Catchable (6+ inches)
1995/07/25 Arlee Rainbow 756 Catchable (6+ inches)
1995/07/19 Arlee Rainbow 760 Catchable (6+ inches)
1995/07/10 Arlee Rainbow 750 Catchable (6+ inches)
1995/06/29 Arlee Rainbow 791 Catchable (6+ inches)
1994/07/15 Arlee Rainbow 750 Catchable (6+ inches)
1994/07/01 Arlee Rainbow 790 Catchable (6+ inches)
1994/06/17 Arlee Rainbow 765 Catchable (6+ inches)
1994/06/03 Arlee Rainbow 590 Catchable (6+ inches)
1994/05/27 Arlee Rainbow 167 Catchable (6+ inches)
1993/07/29 Arlee Rainbow 750 Catchable (6+ inches)
1993/07/15 Arlee Rainbow 787 Catchable (6+ inches)
1993/06/29 Arlee Rainbow 760 Catchable (6+ inches)
1993/06/10 Arlee Rainbow 760 Catchable (6+ inches)
1992/07/17 Mt Shasta Rainbow 570 Catchable (6+ inches)
1992/07/06 Arlee Rainbow 475 Catchable (6+ inches)
1992/06/26 Mt Shasta Rainbow 256 Catchable (6+ inches)
1992/06/19 Arlee Rainbow 475 Catchable (6+ inches)
1992/06/10 Arlee Rainbow 247 Catchable (6+ inches)
1992/06/04 Arlee Rainbow 247 Catchable (6+ inches)
1992/05/22 Arlee Rainbow 440 Catchable (6+ inches)
1991/07/16 Arlee Rainbow 850 Catchable (6+ inches)
1991/07/03 Arlee Rainbow 756 Catchable (6+ inches)
1991/06/14 Arlee Rainbow 770 Catchable (6+ inches)
1991/05/30 Mt Shasta Rainbow 813 Catchable (6+ inches)
1990/07/25 Mt Shasta Rainbow 750 Catchable (6+ inches)
1990/07/18 Mt Shasta Rainbow 250 Catchable (6+ inches)
1990/07/11 Mt Shasta Rainbow 750 Catchable (6+ inches)
1990/06/13 Mt Shasta Rainbow 750 Catchable (6+ inches)
1990/06/01 Mt Shasta Rainbow 750 Catchable (6+ inches)
1989/07/20 Mt Shasta Rainbow 800 Catchable (6+ inches)
1989/06/08 Mt Shasta Rainbow 1,476 Catchable (6+ inches)
1988/07/21 Rainbow Unspecified 1,540 Catchable (6+ inches)
1988/07/07 Rainbow Unspecified 1,680 Catchable (6+ inches)
1988/06/28 Rainbow Unspecified 1,540 Catchable (6+ inches)
1988/06/07 Rainbow Unspecified 1,650 Catchable (6+ inches)
1987/07/27 Mt Shasta Rainbow 440 Catchable (6+ inches)
1987/07/21 Mt Shasta Rainbow 1,320 Catchable (6+ inches)
1987/07/15 Brown Trout 37,060 Fingerling (3-6 inches)
1987/07/14 Brown Trout 29,920 Fingerling (3-6 inches)
1987/06/30 Mt Shasta Rainbow 2,640 Catchable (6+ inches)
1987/06/10 Mt Shasta Rainbow 220 Catchable (6+ inches)
1987/06/08 Mt Shasta Rainbow 2,640 Catchable (6+ inches)
1987/05/21 Mt Shasta Rainbow 220 Catchable (6+ inches)
1987/05/20 Mt Shasta Rainbow 2,640 Catchable (6+ inches)
1986/08/05 Mt Lassen Rainbow 4,650 Catchable (6+ inches)
1986/08/04 Mt Lassen Rainbow 1,500 Catchable (6+ inches)
1986/07/14 Brown Trout 81,600 Fingerling (3-6 inches)
1986/07/14 Mt Lassen Rainbow 4,650 Catchable (6+ inches)
1986/07/11 Mt Lassen Rainbow 1,500 Catchable (6+ inches)
1985/07/18 Rainbow Unspecified 756 Catchable (6+ inches)
1985/07/02 Rainbow Unspecified 4,951 Catchable (6+ inches)
1985/06/12 Rainbow Unspecified 2,040 Catchable (6+ inches)
1985/05/22 Rainbow Unspecified 1,500 Catchable (6+ inches)
1985/05/16 Rainbow Unspecified 2,500 Catchable (6+ inches)
1984/08/03 Brown Trout 29,575 Fry (0-3 inches)
1984/07/25 Rainbow Unspecified 9,400 Catchable (6+ inches)
1984/07/24 Rainbow Unspecified 4,700 Catchable (6+ inches)
1983/08/29 Rainbow Unspecified 4,568 Fingerling (3-6 inches)
1983/08/25 Rainbow Unspecified 1,575 Fingerling (3-6 inches)
1983/07/25 Rainbow Unspecified 5,250 Catchable (6+ inches)
1983/07/01 Rainbow Unspecified 1,576 Catchable (6+ inches)
1982/08/24 Rainbow Unspecified 1,560 Catchable (6+ inches)
1982/08/13 Rainbow Unspecified 1,045 Catchable (6+ inches)
1982/07/21 Rainbow Unspecified 1,440 Catchable (6+ inches)
1982/07/15 Rainbow Unspecified 2,990 Catchable (6+ inches)
1982/05/26 Rainbow Unspecified 3,600 Catchable (6+ inches)
1981/08/20 Rainbow Unspecified 812 Catchable (6+ inches)
1981/07/31 Rainbow Unspecified 1,612 Catchable (6+ inches)
1981/07/02 Rainbow Unspecified 11,410 Catchable (6+ inches)
1981/05/22 Rainbow Unspecified 1,800 Catchable (6+ inches)
1981/05/13 Rainbow Unspecified 2,400 Catchable (6+ inches)
1980/10/17 Brook Trout 150 Adults
1980/08/29 Rainbow Unspecified 2,160 Catchable (6+ inches)
1980/08/15 Rainbow Unspecified 1,500 Catchable (6+ inches)
1980/08/08 Rainbow Unspecified 540 Catchable (6+ inches)
1980/08/07 Rainbow Unspecified 1,620 Catchable (6+ inches)
1980/07/25 Rainbow Unspecified 1,400 Catchable (6+ inches)
1980/07/02 Rainbow Unspecified 1,860 Catchable (6+ inches)
1980/05/19 Rainbow Unspecified 4,000 Catchable (6+ inches)
1979/07/13 Rainbow Unspecified 1,980 Catchable (6+ inches)
1979/06/13 Rainbow Unspecified 2,300 Catchable (6+ inches)
1979/05/23 Rainbow Unspecified 4,830 Catchable (6+ inches)
1978/08/25 Rainbow Unspecified 3,080 Catchable (6+ inches)
1978/08/23 Rainbow Unspecified 220 Catchable (6+ inches)
1978/08/15 Brook Trout 495 Fingerling (3-6 inches)
1978/08/10 Rainbow Unspecified 4,440 Catchable (6+ inches)
1978/07/27 Rainbow Unspecified 1,665 Catchable (6+ inches)
1978/07/11 Rainbow Unspecified 2,988 Catchable (6+ inches)
1978/06/27 Rainbow Unspecified 2,520 Catchable (6+ inches)
1978/05/24 Rainbow Unspecified 2,700 Catchable (6+ inches)
1977/09/12 Rainbow Unspecified 8,401 Fry (0-3 inches)
1977/08/02 Rainbow Unspecified 2,520 Catchable (6+ inches)
1977/06/21 Rainbow Unspecified 1,440 Catchable (6+ inches)
1977/05/24 Rainbow Unspecified 1,320 Catchable (6+ inches)
1976/08/03 Rainbow Unspecified 2,900 Catchable (6+ inches)
1976/07/13 Rainbow Unspecified 2,062 Catchable (6+ inches)
1976/07/02 Rainbow Unspecified 2,160 Catchable (6+ inches)
1976/05/26 Rainbow Unspecified 4,800 Catchable (6+ inches)
1975/09/29 Rainbow Unspecified 5,600 Catchable (6+ inches)
1975/09/04 Rainbow Unspecified 3,300 Catchable (6+ inches)
1975/09/03 Rainbow Unspecified 3,800 Catchable (6+ inches)
1975/08/13 Rainbow Unspecified 2,000 Catchable (6+ inches)
1975/08/06 Rainbow Unspecified 1,920 Catchable (6+ inches)
1975/07/22 Rainbow Unspecified 4,800 Catchable (6+ inches)
1975/06/13 Rainbow Unspecified 4,200 Catchable (6+ inches)
1975/05/21 Rainbow Unspecified 3,800 Catchable (6+ inches)
1974/09/06 Rainbow Unspecified 3,500 Catchable (6+ inches)
1974/09/03 Rainbow Unspecified 3,360 Catchable (6+ inches)
1974/08/26 Rainbow Unspecified 3,300 Catchable (6+ inches)
1974/08/16 Rainbow Unspecified 1,920 Catchable (6+ inches)
1974/08/06 Rainbow Unspecified 2,160 Catchable (6+ inches)
1974/07/16 Rainbow Unspecified 2,160 Catchable (6+ inches)
1974/07/15 Rainbow Unspecified 1,800 Catchable (6+ inches)
1974/07/02 Rainbow Unspecified 3,500 Catchable (6+ inches)
1974/05/16 Rainbow Unspecified 1,800 Catchable (6+ inches)
1973/08/20 Rainbow Unspecified 2,200 Catchable (6+ inches)
1973/08/13 Rainbow Unspecified 2,800 Catchable (6+ inches)
1973/08/02 Rainbow Unspecified 2,040 Catchable (6+ inches)
1973/08/01 Rainbow Unspecified 1,360 Catchable (6+ inches)
1973/07/26 Brook Trout 15 Catchable (6+ inches)
1973/07/26 Rainbow Unspecified 45 Catchable (6+ inches)
1973/07/19 Rainbow Unspecified 1,800 Catchable (6+ inches)
1973/07/12 Rainbow Unspecified 3,200 Catchable (6+ inches)
1973/07/02 Rainbow Unspecified 4,480 Catchable (6+ inches)
1973/06/13 Rainbow Unspecified 3,840 Catchable (6+ inches)
1973/06/12 Rainbow Unspecified 1,920 Catchable (6+ inches)
1973/05/29 Rainbow Unspecified 3,840 Catchable (6+ inches)
1973/05/25 Rainbow Unspecified 1,440 Catchable (6+ inches)
1973/05/16 Brook Trout 600 Fingerling (3-6 inches)
1973/05/16 Rainbow Unspecified 2,400 Fingerling (3-6 inches)
1973/05/03 Rainbow Unspecified 4,560 Catchable (6+ inches)
1973/04/11 Rainbow Unspecified 3,900 Catchable (6+ inches)
1972/08/23 Rainbow Unspecified 900 Catchable (6+ inches)
1972/08/22 Rainbow Unspecified 3,720 Catchable (6+ inches)
1972/08/17 Rainbow Unspecified 1,680 Catchable (6+ inches)
1972/08/10 Rainbow Unspecified 3,120 Catchable (6+ inches)
1972/07/26 Rainbow Unspecified 1,800 Catchable (6+ inches)
1972/07/19 Rainbow Unspecified 6,080 Catchable (6+ inches)
1972/07/13 Rainbow Unspecified 1,680 Catchable (6+ inches)
1972/07/06 Rainbow Unspecified 4,080 Catchable (6+ inches)
1972/06/27 Rainbow Unspecified 3,600 Catchable (6+ inches)
1972/06/26 Rainbow Unspecified 1,500 Catchable (6+ inches)
1972/05/30 Brook Trout 240 Fingerling (3-6 inches)
1972/05/30 Rainbow Unspecified 1,280 Catchable (6+ inches)
1972/05/30 Whitefish 320 Fingerling (3-6 inches)
1972/05/17 Rainbow Unspecified 4,080 Catchable (6+ inches)
1972/04/19 Rainbow Unspecified 4,030 Catchable (6+ inches)
1971/09/14 Rainbow Unspecified 5,020 Catchable (6+ inches)
1971/09/08 Rainbow Unspecified 3,125 Catchable (6+ inches)
1971/09/07 Rainbow Unspecified 3,500 Catchable (6+ inches)
1971/08/27 Rainbow Unspecified 1,550 Catchable (6+ inches)
1971/08/25 Rainbow Unspecified 2,160 Catchable (6+ inches)
1971/08/18 Rainbow Unspecified 2,280 Catchable (6+ inches)
1971/08/10 Rainbow Unspecified 2,280 Catchable (6+ inches)
1971/08/02 Rainbow Unspecified 2,100 Catchable (6+ inches)
1971/07/28 Rainbow Unspecified 1,920 Catchable (6+ inches)
1971/07/26 Rainbow Unspecified 1,740 Catchable (6+ inches)
1971/07/19 Rainbow Unspecified 2,100 Catchable (6+ inches)
1971/07/13 Rainbow Unspecified 1,500 Catchable (6+ inches)
1971/07/08 Rainbow Unspecified 2,080 Catchable (6+ inches)
1971/06/30 Rainbow Unspecified 3,600 Catchable (6+ inches)
1971/05/26 Rainbow Unspecified 6,480 Catchable (6+ inches)
1971/04/09 Rainbow Unspecified 4,900 Catchable (6+ inches)
1970/08/31 Rainbow Unspecified 1,500 Catchable (6+ inches)
1970/08/27 Rainbow Unspecified 1,920 Catchable (6+ inches)
1970/08/24 Rainbow Unspecified 3,840 Catchable (6+ inches)
1970/08/19 Rainbow Unspecified 3,120 Catchable (6+ inches)
1970/08/18 Rainbow Unspecified 1,920 Catchable (6+ inches)
1970/08/07 Rainbow Unspecified 2,400 Catchable (6+ inches)
1970/07/31 Rainbow Unspecified 3,400 Catchable (6+ inches)
1970/07/30 Rainbow Unspecified 2,220 Catchable (6+ inches)
1970/07/22 Rainbow Unspecified 2,560 Catchable (6+ inches)
1970/07/13 Rainbow Unspecified 1,920 Catchable (6+ inches)
1970/07/02 Rainbow Unspecified 2,320 Catchable (6+ inches)
1970/06/18 Rainbow Unspecified 1,860 Catchable (6+ inches)
1970/06/03 Rainbow Unspecified 4,200 Catchable (6+ inches)
1970/05/19 Rainbow Unspecified 2,280 Catchable (6+ inches)
1970/05/06 Brook Trout 1,200 Fingerling (3-6 inches)
1970/05/06 Rainbow Unspecified 480 Catchable (6+ inches)
1970/04/09 Rainbow Unspecified 1,500 Catchable (6+ inches)
1970/04/04 Brook Trout 600 Fingerling (3-6 inches)
1970/04/04 Rainbow Unspecified 200 Fingerling (3-6 inches)
1970/04/04 Whitefish 1,200 Fingerling (3-6 inches)
1969/09/10 Rainbow Unspecified 1,750 Fingerling (3-6 inches)
1969/08/28 Rainbow Unspecified 1,920 Fingerling (3-6 inches)
1969/08/27 Rainbow Unspecified 5,280 Catchable (6+ inches)
1969/08/25 Rainbow Unspecified 4,200 Catchable (6+ inches)
1969/08/19 Rainbow Unspecified 4,560 Catchable (6+ inches)
1969/08/05 Rainbow Unspecified 4,200 Catchable (6+ inches)
1969/07/31 Rainbow Unspecified 2,640 Catchable (6+ inches)
1969/07/30 Rainbow Unspecified 2,800 Catchable (6+ inches)
1969/07/15 Rainbow Unspecified 3,960 Catchable (6+ inches)
1969/07/01 Rainbow Unspecified 1,920 Catchable (6+ inches)
1968/09/16 Rainbow Unspecified 3,600 Catchable (6+ inches)
1968/09/06 Rainbow Unspecified 3,600 Catchable (6+ inches)
1968/08/29 Rainbow Unspecified 1,400 Catchable (6+ inches)
1968/08/23 Rainbow Unspecified 2,100 Catchable (6+ inches)
1968/08/07 Rainbow Unspecified 2,700 Catchable (6+ inches)
1968/07/23 Rainbow Unspecified 1,500 Catchable (6+ inches)
1968/07/22 Rainbow Unspecified 1,500 Catchable (6+ inches)
1968/07/16 Rainbow Unspecified 1,560 Catchable (6+ inches)
1968/07/10 Rainbow Unspecified 1,620 Catchable (6+ inches)
1968/06/18 Rainbow Unspecified 1,740 Catchable (6+ inches)
1968/05/28 Rainbow Unspecified 1,500 Catchable (6+ inches)
1968/05/08 Rainbow Unspecified 3,990 Catchable (6+ inches)
1968/04/24 Rainbow Unspecified 1,720 Catchable (6+ inches)
1968/04/02 Rainbow Unspecified 5,280 Catchable (6+ inches)
Source: IDFG Fish Stocking Database.

Licenses and Tags

Learn more about IDFG Licenses, Tags & Permits
 

The Big Lost River has a 6-trout limit from Memorial Day weekend to December 1, and is one of the few places where anglers can harvest Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout from a stream. However, please remember Mountain Whitefish are catch-and-release only year-round to protect this unique population. 

Fishing Rules, 2022 - 2024

All Waters Open All Year

Except as modified in Special Rules
Fishing is not allowed within the posted upstream and downstream boundary of any fish weir or trap.

Daily Bag Limits

The following daily bag limits apply to all waters within each region except as modified in the Special Rules. The possession limit is 3-times the daily bag limit after the second day of the season.

Special Rules

Big Lost River and tributaries
  • December 1 through Friday before Memorial Day weekend - trout limit is 0, catch-and-release; whitefish limit is 0, catch-and-release
  • Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through November 30 - trout limit is 6; whitefish limit is 0, catch-and-release
Upper Snake Region Bag Limits
Bass (Largemouth and Smallmouth)

  • Bass limit is 6, both species combined

Brook Trout

  • Brook Trout limit is 25
  • Harvest allowed during any open season unless otherwise noted under Special Rules - if gear or bait restrictions are listed, they must be followed when fishing for Brook Trout

Bull Trout

  • Bull trout limit is 0, catch-and-release

Kokanee

  • Kokanee limit is 15

Sturgeon

  • Sturgeon limit is 0, catch-and-release
  • Sturgeon must not be removed from the water and must be released upon landing
  • Barbless hooks are required
  • Use of a sliding swivel device to secure a weight, and a lighter test line to secure weight to sliding swivel device is required. See fishing regulations for details

Tiger Muskie

  • Tiger Muskie limit is 2, none under 40 inches

Trout includes Brown Trout, Golden Trout, Lake Trout, Splake, Arctic Grayling, Cutthroat Trout, Rainbow Trout, and trout hybrids (e.g. Tiger Trout)

  • Trout limit is 6, all species combined
  • Does not include Bull Trout and Brook Trout which are listed separately

Whitefish

  • Whitefish limit is 25 - see Big Lost River exception
  • Harvest allowed during any open season unless otherwise noted under Special Rules - if gear or bait restrictions are listed, they must be followed when fishing for whitefish

Protected Nongame Fish including Northern Leatherside Chub and Bluehead Sucker (also known as Green Sucker)

  • May not be harvested or possessed

All Other Fish Species includes bullfrogs and crayfish

  • No bag, size or possession limit
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