Anglers, campers and boaters now have safe and legal access to the south side of the Missouri River, about 13 miles north of Fairview near the confluence of the Yellowstone River. The new Snowden Bridge Fishing Access Site (FAS) is located about a quarter mile upstream from the historic Snowden drawbridge, located in the area referred to as Nohly.
This section of school trust lands previously has been an undeveloped recreation area where folks have picnicked, camped, fished from shore and launched motorized watercraft. In order to accommodate some of the impacts the area was receiving, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation established an easement authorizing FWP to developed and manage a 12-acre river access site.
Although not all the recreational improvements are complete, the Snowden Bridge FAS eventually will include an interior gravel road, a large parking area with a turn-around, a pre-cast concrete vault toilet, signing and a gravel boat ramp. This site will allow overnight camping. Picnic tables and fire rings will be provided, but there are no designated campsites. These initial improvements will be completed by mid-August.
FWP Parks Manager Woody Baxter hopes anglers recognize the value of the site.
“In the past boaters would launch their small watercraft from the river bank by simply excavating a small path down to the river at this undeveloped site,” says Baxter. “I am hopeful that now with a well-defined gravel boat ramp boaters will be able to more easily and appropriately launch and load boats from trailers.”
Because of the sandy soils at the site, contractors managed only minimal compaction and “armoring” of the boat ramp, which Baxter says may require periodic repair as river action erodes the facility, but he says the recent work is a vast improvement in a reach of river with relatively little public access.