With the goal of increasing public access, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking approval to purchase nearly 15 acres for a fishing access site.

The undeveloped property is one mile east of Dayton off U.S. Highway 93 along the west shore of Flathead Lake. The property contains 650 feet of shoreline that would provide public access for boating and non-boating recreational use, such as swimming, fishing, and picnicking. FWP has preliminary proposed development plans that would include access roads, parking areas, a boat ramp, dock, vault latrine, signage, boundary fencing and a host campsite. The proposed site would be open for day-use only.

FWP has been pursuing opportunities to increase access on popular lakes, such as Flathead Lake, where user numbers are increasing to levels above the capacity of existing sites. Currently, 89 percent of the shoreline of Flathead Lake, excluding islands, is in private ownership. Any additional public access opportunities on Flathead would likely be very welcome additions. FWP feels this site would help ease pressure on other busy boat launches on Flathead Lake. The proximity of the proposed site to Wild Horse Island also makes it a desirable launching point.

As we all know, Flathead Lake provides is a popular fishery, but it's appeal extends to  boaters, including motorized and non-motorized watercraft, as well as shore-based activities such as picnicking, swimming, photography and wildlife viewing. It is no secret that public access to the lake and shoreline is in high demand.

The current owners of this property have long been interested in selling to a public agency for public access and conservation and are willing to sell below appraised value. The proposal is out for public comment through 5:00 p.m., Aug. 9, 2020. Written input can be emailed to tpowell@mt.gov, or mailed to Mattson FAS/Property Acquisition, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, 490 N. Meridian Rd, Kalispell, MT 59901. Or call 406-752-5501.