S. Fk. Deep Creek
Pine Creek H,C
Passage Creek Falls
Big Timber Area
Creek Falls H,C,V
Boulder Meadows H,C
Twin Lakes H,C
Lava Lake H
Little Belt Mountains
MT Railroading V
Gap Wind Farm V
Beartooth Highway V
Rocks Rec Area V,C
Lake State Park V,C
Cooney Reservoir and State Park
Cooney Reservoir is one of the most popular
recreation destinations in south central Montana. Located within an
hour of Billings, MT Cooney offers great fishing opportunities for
trout and walleye and Cooney is a popular destination for ice fishing
in the winter. Cooney also provides a great place for water skiers,
wake boarders, jet skis and all types of water recreation. Cooney State
park offers camping, picnicking and hiking. With five different
campgrounds, Cooney State Park has something for almost everyone.
Cooney Reservoir was created in 1937 when the State of
Montana constructed a dam across Red Lodge Creek. The earthen dam is
2,260 ft long and stands 97 feet high. The dam was constructed to store
water for irrigation and
the reservoir can store about 24,000 acre feet of water.
Red Lodge Creek drains an area of about 200 square miles above the
reservoir and 20,000 acres are irrigated with water released from
Cooney. In 2013, a major upgrade was scheduled to be completed on the
concrete weir that is part of the dam. These improvements will allow
for more effective water management.
Cooney Reservoir is a very popular fishing and boating
destination. The State Park the wraps around the lake features lots of
camping and hiking opportunities.
Reservoir and State Park are very easy to access. The access road is a
well signed road which turns west from hwy 212 south of Joliet, MT. The
road is well marked and appropriate for all types of vehicles. The
state park has multiple campgrounds and boat ramps. It is a good idea
to check out the Cooney State Park Map before you go. The 300 acre
stretches around Cooney Reservoir and provides access at many points.
A lone stand-up paddle boarder explores the shorelines of
Cooney Reservoir. Cooney is a very popular destination for all toes of
Cooney State Park is a fee area.
For day use, there is no charge for any Montana resident. However, for
non-residents there is a $5.00 fee for day use. All campers are
required to pay fees which vary according to campsite type and other
Cooney Reservoir is the feature
that attracts most visitors. With about 1,000 acres of surface, Cooney
provides great fishing year round. While most anglers are attracted by
the excellent walleye and trout fishing, the reservoir is home to
perch, crappie and other fish species. Boat fishing is most popular but
at times, shore angling produces great results. In winter, Cooney
provides some of the best ice fishing in the area.
While Cooney Reservoir is "towards the mountains", it is not in
the mountains. The elevation is about 4,250 feet and the water warms
to great swimming temperatures in the summer. Cooney is a very popular
destination for all types of water re creationists. Water skiing and
wake boarding are very popular as are jet skis. If you visit Cooney in
the summer plan on sharing the lake with plenty of others!
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