Montana Landowners Want Irrigation Ditches Closed to Public Access

Undoubtedly in response to the recent rulings on access to the Mitchell Slough and Ruby River, some Montana property owners have organized to present a constitutional initiative to block public access to irrigation ditches. “A spokesman for Montana Trout Unlimited immediately denounced the proposal as an attempt to weaken the state’s stream access law. ‘This is kind of a surreptitious way to undermine Montana’s steam access law, and it’s unfortunate that Chuck Denowh and others are trying to take a crack at it in kind of a sneaky way,’ said Mark Aagenes, conservation director for Montana Trout Unlimited.” Charles S. Johnson in the Billings Gazette.

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  • Tom

    Living in MT, i enjoy the benefits of our stream access law to fish some great trout waters. however, a normal, routine, irrigation ditch should never to be construed as an access point to one of our streams. i will read the entire initiative before i make up my mind, but i think TU might be a little off base on this one. most of the landowners on the streams i fish are pretty easy going about the strict enforcement of the letter of the law and i wouldn’t want to endanger their good graces and common sense approach to having folks fishing through their places.

  • tom

    I regularly fish the irrigation ditches around Jackson, WY. Lot of big cuts get sucked in the fast flows. Sad that they all die at the end of the season. So I see no problem with public access and fishing – those cuts are public fish that got pulled into the irrigator ditches…

  • Serge Quenneville

    Dig a bit under and behind and you’ll find some PETA moron in the backgrond. Public money was use for those ditch and the public have the right to acces those water, the landowner wants those fish for themself and their lawyer well…..