Fishing access site at Elmo to remain open

by Kianna Gardner
Daily Inter Lake | May 22, 2020 8:23 AM

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and Lake County recently reached an agreement on a temporary five-year license to keep the Elmo Fishing Access on Flathead Lake open for public use.

The Lake County commissioners unanimously approved the license agreement, according to a press release. The county will pay $10,800 per year, with a 2% annual increase. The five-year agreement period will keep the facility open while the county pursues a permanent solution for the site.

“We’re very please that the county was willing and able to work out a deal to keep this fishing access operational for the public,” said Dave Poukish, manager of the Kalispell unit of the DNRC. “Elmo has been a popular site for many years.”

The Elmo Fishing Access site and boat launch is located on about 2 acres of state trust land on the western shore of Flathead Lake. It is one of only a few areas on the lake that cater to the public and in the summer months, is considered a highly trafficked area.

For several decades, the site was managed by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, but according to the press release, “budgetary constraints” led the agency to terminate its lease with the department in Januaryr. In early March, Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced the agency would instead focus its efforts on the Big Arm Unit of Flathead Lake State Park.

The agency and other partners have been working for months to finalize an easement that will “ensure recreation at the site into perpetuity,” according to an earlier press release about the initial decision to terminate the Elmo site lease.

Reporter Kianna Gardner can be reached at 758-4407 or