Fishing access sites damaged
By Jason Stuart
Ranger-Review Staff Writer
Anglers’ and other river users’ access to the Yellowstone River has been seriously affected by last week’s flooding and ice jams.
Dawson County’s two fishing access sites on the Yellowstone — Black Bridge and Intake — were severely damaged by the flood waters and giant blocks of ice that accompanied it.
“Both sites sustained quite a bit of damage,” said Miles Muscha, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 7 fishing access maintenance foreman. “The river does what the river does. It was quite a thing to see the natural river doing its thing.”
The damage at Black Bridge “looks just catastrophic,” according to Muscha.
The flood knocked the latrine at the access site right off its foundation, and Muscha said he doesn’t believe the latrine can be repaired.
The fencing along the access road was wiped out as well. Muscha said the fencing was “potentially 100 percent gone.”
“This is the second time this site has been a complete loss in the last four years,” he said.
FWP wasn’t the only entity to lose property at Black Bridge.
Almost all of the walking trail signs in the area, which were paid for and installed by the Glendive Rotary Club, were swept away as well.
As for Intake, Muscha said the damage there was “significant as well.”
The latrines at Intake are still standing, though they were all flooded, but the rest of the site’s infrastructure was hit hard.
The electrical and plumbing lines running to the site where the Yellowstone Caviar Committee maintains its trailers and concession stand during paddlefish season were washed away.
“That is all demolished at the moment,” Muscha said.
Intake’s campground fared no better.
“The picnic tables and fire rings were all demolished,” Muscha said.
The floating boat dock at Intake also “got wrecked,” according to Muscha.
The damage to Intake could potentially impact the upcoming paddlefish season, which begins May 15.
For the time being, Muscha said people need to be aware that both Black Bridge and Intake are closed to the public and no one should enter the sites for any reason.
“Until the ice melts and quits falling all over itself, I think we’re going to keep them closed,” he said. “We will get them back up and running, but we’ve got to sit down and analyze the situation first.”
Reach Jason Stuart at email@example.com.