Montana Stream Access Law
There are a lot of perks living in Big Sky Country. On of those great perks is being able to recreate on the state's rivers and streams. The state legislature made a great move in securing access to treasured fishing and floating for the public through the 1985 Montana Stream Access Law. The law has been controversial in some instances and even an issue in this years gubernatorial race, if I believe the political ads.
Bridge Abutment At Tucker Crossing East
I grew up enjoying the opportunity to fish the Bitterroot River and it's tributaries including the Burnt Fork, Kootenia Creek and McCalla Creek. I spent a lot of time fishing with my best friend, Peter Rhodes, and we would catch browns in the irrigation ditches and beautiful rainbow in the river. We also speared a lot of carp.
We never questioned being able to access the water we wanted to and interestingly enough, we had plenty of opportunity and ability to fish the Mitchell Slough and, while we may have, it wasn't the best fishery in the locale.
Tucker Crossing East Looking Toward The Sapphire Range
When we were kids the valley had a population of about 15,000. Today it has grown to over 40,000 and the pressure for river and stream access has grown as has conflict with landowners and recreational users.
Yesterday I enjoyed a nice respite from the heat at one of my old favorite spots; Tucker Crossing East where I used to scuba dive under the ice....alone. Hey, it's a Montana thing. Okay, probably pretty stupid but great memories.
While traveling down there through Billionaires, Charles and Helen Schwab's place, I was thankful for the opportunity to access an old haunt and I appreciate the land owners accommodations. I feel those with the money really have preserved this place for us and it gets back to Mitchell Slough. Until somebody took the time to invest hundreds of thousands of their own dollars in the fishery, did it become something the public wanted to access.
Sign On Private Property Near The Bitterroot River
The bottom line is be thankful for the Montana Stream Access Law and respect private property owner rights at the same time. Here is a copy of the brochure from Fish Wildlife and Parks on stream access in Montana.
Here's a little video of my dog, El Mc-Fierce-son at the Tucker Crossing East on the Bitterroot River in Montana.
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