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Popular boat ramp being renovated


Callie Jacobson

UNDER CONSTRUCTION - The North Shore recreation site west of Trout Creek is being renovated. The boat ramp and parking lot will be closed during construction June 3-28, but the campground will remain open.

A popular Sanders County destination for boaters on the Noxon Reservoir is getting a makeover. The North Shore boat ramp west of Trout Creek will be closed for most of June to address user conflicts at the recreation site between motorized and non-motorized recreationist. The project will include the installation of a new boat ramp and dock. The ramp will extend into the water approximately 90 feet with 20 feet above high water mark. The new dock will be on the driver's side when a vehicle is reversing to provide for easy backing down the ramp, said Jason Pignanelli with Avista, who is managing the project. There will also be new buoys installed around the old dock and ramp that read "No Boats."

The existing dock and ramp will be used for non-motorized recreation and new bollards will be installed to block access to the old ramp and provide a safe area free from vehicles. User conflicts were brought to the attention of Avista by a member of the Terrestrial Resource Technical Advisory Committee (TRTAC), which set the renovation in motion.

The new dock will be usable at all water levels, Pignanelli said, which is beneficial due to the fluctuating reservoir levels throughout the year.

Both the parking lot and the road to the boat ramp will be closed during the renovation, which is scheduled for June 3-28. Pignanelli said the campground will still be open during the boat ramp project. He said there are other recreational sites and boat launches in the area that are open and would serve as great substitutions while the work is being finished.

With the project taking place in June, Avista acknowledges that it might be an inconvenience. However, Pignanelli said user conflicts with the existing dock and ramp warranted that the project be completed sooner than later. Avista and the Clark Fork Settlement Agreement provides funding for recreation development at other U.S. Forest Service sites in the Clark Fork Project area.

The new dock and ramp will be more user friendly, Pignanelli said, and provide a safer environment with minimal user conflics for both non-motorized and motorized users alike.


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