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Big Hole River

The Pennington Bridge fishing access site will close permanently on the Big Hole River starting June 17. 

Fish, Wildlife and Parks will spend about $4,000 removing a latrine at the Pennington Bridge fishing access site on the Big Hole River this summer.

Morgan Jacobsen, FWP Region 3 information and education manager, said the removal won’t happen until later this summer when the contents in the pit toilet are dried out. But the fishing access site, which is on private property, will be permanently closed June 17.

Jacobsen said the Big Hole is in danger of topping its banks. The latrine is roughly 30 feet from the river. FWP is worried that contamination from the latrine will eventually wind up in the river. Jacobsen said this is a proactive step.

“It’s not like the whole thing is going to tip into the river,” Jacobsen said. “We just want to get it out of there.”

The cost of the removal is about $3,000. The pit toilet will be excavated out with a crane and put on a semi-truck. The toilet is all one piece. The contents underground are contained within a concrete block, Jacobsen said.

An additional $1,000 will go toward restoring the site where the toilet will be removed. Jacobsen said the hole will be filled with river rock for the landowner.

FWP was leasing the site from the landowner. FWP terminated the lease.

FWP is donating the pit toilet to the Anaconda Sportsmen's Club and will transport it to the local group's site between Wise River and Wisdom, Jacobsen said.

Jacobsen said there is another fishing access point immediately upstream on the river left that the public can access. It is part of a county road easement and is not owned by FWP.

That site has a ramp, but no latrine.

Jacobsen said there is no plan currently to build a new facility at the county easement site.

The Pennington Bridge fishing access site is about four miles south of Twin Bridges.

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Nat'l Resources / General Reporter

Environmental and natural resources reporter for the Montana Standard.

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