STEVENSVILLE – Although it’s been given final approval by state officials, construction of a new fishing access site on the Bitterroot River at Stevensville is still several months away.
Last year the continuing controversy over the boat launch and river access at Stevensville took a turn toward a resolution, as Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks floated a plan to take over the site at the Bitterroot River bridge and build a complete fishing access.
Status of the property had been in dispute until Myla Yahraus, who purchased the adjacent ranch a year ago, agreed to lease part of the site to the state allowing for temporary access last summer.
Last month the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission gave approval to acquire the property and develop the fishing access, which will include parking, restrooms and the other amenities that are part of a formal FWP site. Fisheries Manager Pat Saffel says that clears the way for FWP to negotiate a final purchase of the property and then start drawing up site designs.
Saffel says FWP hopes to make some minor site improvements for the coming summer, but the main construction won’t take place until late August and September when weather conditions are more stable.