Kalispell — The public is reminded to please respect public and private land closures along the north shore of Flathead Lake between Bigfork and Somers.
The vast stretch of north shoreline owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a Waterfowl Production Area closes March 1 through July 15 each year to limit disturbance to resting migrating birds and help protect nesting waterfowl and other wetland birds. This closure includes the open beaches along the shoreline of the WPA, as well as any private property.
Currently, the only available public access to the north shore beach during springtime is located at Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ Osprey View property along Holt Drive near Bigfork. Access is limited to state land and the section of beach that is state land. Beach closures remain in effect starting at the boundary to the federal WPA. Parking is limited along Holt Drive, and dogs must be kept on a leash.
Dogs pose a particular threat during the spring nesting period because they range over a large area and are adept at smelling and finding birds and nests.
FWP remains in the process of proposing acquisition of 106 acres to the east of Somers for the creation of a new State Park. While that process is ongoing, the property remains privately owned. The public is asked to respect closures in the area, including the section of beach that is privately owned.
Year-round restrictions at FWP-managed property along the north shore:
- Dogs must be on a leash except when hunting
- No motor vehicles
- No shooting except during hunting season
- No fires, camping or overnight use
- No littering
- No commercial use without a permit