It's hardly a well-kept secret, even though it hides itself from view as you drive along the highway.

But plenty of fishing, boating and swimming enthusiasts recognize what a beautiful little gem it is, and while 14.7 acres isn't much of a lake, Montana's Harpers Lake suits many water recreation lovers just fine. And now, some facility upgrades have been approved by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Montana FWP tells us that plans are underway to remove the existing accessible fishing pier along the west shore next to the parking area, and replacing it with a modern roll-in style. The decision is the result of - and please excuse the legalese - "a recently-issued  Draft Environmental Assessment. Based on the environmental review provided...FWP determined the proposed action will not have significant adverse impacts on the human environment associated with the proposed action and constitutes a reasonable and appropriate strategy to achieve identified objectives." Wooo Eeee, right?

Only small electric trolling motors are allowed on boats on Harpers Lake, and most people prefer their kayaks, canoes, float tubes, etc. The epic scenery surrounding the lake is enhanced by the presence of osprey and eagles, checking the water below for a tasty trout meal. Many campers enjoy the lake, once they've settled into the ample campground just beyond Harpers.

Montana FWP regularly stocks the lake with both young and older hatchery fish, and there are some whoppers in there! Fishing out on the water and from the shore can both be very productive. Here's hoping the new pier will make shore fishing even more inviting.

Harpers Lake is located 3 miles north of the Clearwater Junction on Montana Highway 83, about 42 miles from Missoula and about 12 miles from Seeley Lake.

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