The FWP is fishing for 100 acres of land near Ennis. This well-known area contains 2 spring creeks. Odell and Bear Creek provide cold water and spawning areas for the Madison River.
The FWP commission has approved the purchase, which could take a year or so to complete. There are many steps that need to be taken to complete the sale. Public access would be allowed as the Ennis Access site would grow. Public access to both creeks would be limited to foot traffic only. A buffer area between the El Western cabins and the property may be needed.
Currently a $60 fee will allow an angler to fish these small but fun waters. The Rainbow Valley Lodge manages this area. This once compromised area has been restored and has become a healthy fishery once again. Unlimited public access could overwhelm the fishery so proper management is essential.
Because the waters are spring fed, the fishery could remain open year around. Close supervision would be needed to monitor fishing pressure and the potential of overfishing. Perhaps a closure during spawning seasons would be needed.
This is a great example of how positive access issues that can be led by the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission. In a time when public lands are becoming crowded, blocked off, or restricted, the FWP is making a positive effort in this case.
The unique property could also become a wonderful outdoor education facility, center, or school to educate outdoor enthusiast and fishermen. Admission fees could pay for continued restorations and management of this unique and important fishery.
For more Montana Grant, access him at www.montanagrantfishing.com.