A popular public access site that was closed last summer is now open again, thanks to a new land owner. Fish Wildlife and Parks Information and Education Program Manager Vivaca Crowser says folks can access the Bitterroot River by using the site at Stevensville Bridge.

“Just a few weeks ago, we signed what is called a Private Lands Public Access Fishing Agreement,” said Crowser. “Again this site at Stevensville Bridge is privately owned and is under new ownership now. The new land owner was interested in providing access and signed an agreement with Fish Wildlife and Parks to do so.”

According to Crowser, the new agreement requires visitors to stay within marked boundaries and park in the designated areas.  FWP will also provide the landowners with some site maintenance, monitoring and regulation enforcement.

“Ultimately, it sets the stage for Fish, Wildlife and Parks to work with the land owner and to work with the local community to build a plan for some enhancements at the site that will improve parking, site protection and provide better facilities for people using the area so that we are lessening the impacts to the resource and to the land owner,” Crowser said.

Crowser says this site has a long history of use and provides access to a stretch of river that would otherwise be fairly inaccessible to floaters.