If You Love Montana’s Fish Creek You’ll Want to Follow This Meeting
It's a hidden gem in Western Montana, and so special it officially became home to a Montana State Park in the last decade.
But that's just one part of the effort to protect the Fish Creek Watershed west of Missoula, one of the vital tributaries on the Lower Clark Fork River.
The park, which was formally established in 2010, covers more than 5,600 acres, making it the largest Montana State Park unit. But the actual area on Fish Creek is much larger. The state estimates the total Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks ownership at greater than 45,000 acres, including the campgrounds at Big Pine and Forks Fishing Access sites and the day-use site at Alberton Gorge.
There's even more public land when you include the surrounding lands managed by Lolo National Forest.
The area also includes the Fish Creek Wildlife Management Area
That Fish Creek WMA is what's getting renewed attention, as FWP develops an overall management plan for the watershed. Biologists say Fish Creek itself is an important habitat for the endangered bull trout and westslope cutthroat, as well other species like brown and rainbow trout. And that's on top of wildlife that includes not only elk and deer but large predators like mountain lions, bears, and wolves.
FWP began working on a plan last year
The state is working to update and consolidate the previous management plans into a single, over-arching document to manage recreation along Fish Creek. That includes a new look at fishing access sites, trails, and other infrastructure.
Three different meetings are set to discuss the ideas and gather public input. The first will be at the FWP office on Spurgin Road in Missoula, Tuesday, February 28th from 6 pm to 9 pm. A second will be a virtual meeting Wednesday, March 1st, with details still being arranged. The third and final meeting will be Thursday, March 2nd starting at 6 pm at Superior High School.