Ill Will Over Montana Stream Access Returns from Hibernation

May 26, 2006 By: Marshall Cutchin

Every year at the end of runoff, all sides in the dispute over access to some of Montana’s best trout fishing begin playing their cards. Last year, for example, the charitable branch of media giant Cox declared “no more money for Montana” after the family was named in legal disputes over access to river frontage on the Ruby. This after a judge labeled the Mitchell Slough — a favorite fishing stream of locals and out-of-staters that also happened to run through land owned by Huey Lewis and Charles Schwab — a non-natural body of water and therefore not protected by the state’s 1985 stream access law. As John Adams notes in the Missoula Independent, “stream access debates are becoming as perennial as the lilac bloom.”