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FWP proposes property acquisition on Flathead Lake to increase public access

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Posted at 6:52 PM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 21:15:44-04

DAYTON — Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks are seeking approval to purchase 15 acres for a public fishing access site on the western shores of Flathead Lake.

The undeveloped property sits one mile east of Dayton off U.S. Highway 93 along the western shores of Flathead Lake.

FWP officials say 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 proposed development plans that would include access roads, parking areas, a boat ramp, dock and more.

The proposed site would be open for day-use only, no overnight camping.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks Spokesman Dillon Tabish says the current property owners are willing to sell below appraised value making sure the land is used for public access and conservation.

With lake and shoreline access in high demand, Tabish said these kind of deals don’t come around often.

“With 89% of the shoreline of Flathead Lake being private, than can prevent some opportunities for public access, so we look for opportunities like this one where we have a willing seller who is interested in conservation and public access and we have an opportunity to get it for a good deal in our minds, so those opportunities are very rare and we’re very grateful for this opportunity, but we want to make sure this is something the public wants before we move forward,” said Tabish.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials said public comment is open on the project through August 9, with hopes of a decision notice in front of the commission in the coming months.