Record high misuse of Canyon Ferry public lands, campgrounds
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: October 13, 2021

HELENA, Mont. – Canyon Ferry Reservoir saw record-high use and increased visitors during the 2021 recreation season. Reclamation is proud to manage Canyon Ferry’s public federal lands, that belong to the American people, and exist for the benefit of all. Staff members at Canyon Ferry are working hard to maintain these areas and make improvements for recreationists to continue to enjoy these resources for many years to come.

With this season’s record-high use also came record-high misuse, particularly at Fish Hawk Campground located on West Shore Drive. Reclamation is asking for the public’s help to keep these shared resources clean and in good order so these areas can continue to be used by all visitors.

As a reminder, when using Canyon Ferry recreation areas or campgrounds:

  • Put all trash into proper receptacles or pack it out with you when you leave.
  • Do not cut down any trees or naturally occurring vegetation.
  • Only camp in designated areas. Camping in non-designated areas can cause damage to the land and surrounding areas.
  • Campers cannot stay beyond the 14-day stay limit. This ensures other people have the opportunity to access and enjoy these public lands and shared resources too.

If problems persist, Reclamation will consider reducing access to Fish Hawk Campground by limiting the area to day-use only and removing the option for overnight camping. Please help keep this area safe and clean for all recreationists so we can all continue to enjoy our shared resources and public lands.

There are 289 Reclamation project areas that have developed recreation facilities and opportunities available for public use. Over 100 are managed by a federal recreation partner. Reclamation has approximately 6.5 million acres of land and water, most of which is available for public outdoor recreation. The 187 developed recreation areas managed by Reclamation or a non-Federal recreation partner draw over 24 million visits annually.

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