Camping area reopened at Lower Portneuf fishing access property - East Idaho News

Camping area reopened at Lower Portneuf fishing access property

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The following is a news release from Idaho Fish and Game.

Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, a popular fishing access and camping area has reopened just north of Lava Hot Springs.

Idaho Fish and Game just completed the creation of 8 developed campsites within a segment of a popular fishing access property known as the Lower Portneuf or “Byington Place”. The new area open to camping is defined by a new buck and rail fence and can be accessed by newly resurfaced roads on the property. Individual campsites are set apart by graveled pads, bordered by log rails. Dispersed camping is no longer allowed at Lower Portneuf, and there is a 10-day limit for overnight campsite users; however, use of the camping area remains free of charge.

Idaho Fish and Game manages the Lower Portneuf fishing access site, which provides one of the few public access areas to the river between Chesterfield and McCammon. Because this area is so popular with both anglers and campers, Fish and Game decided to make some changes to the former camping system to benefit all user groups.

There have been many challenges with managing overnight camping at the property over the years caused by individuals who exceed the camping limit, leave behind excessive garbage, or even participate in illegal and disruptive activities. The increased level of law enforcement presence and cleanup required at this site was not sustainable or justifiable within a fishing access program. However, Fish and Game recognizes that camping has been an important use of the Lower Portneuf property and that the property can sustain camping if it is managed in a more organized fashion.

“Providing a clean and safe place for folks to enjoy fishing is our priority,” says Regional Fisheries Manager Carson Watkins. “When other uses such as camping come in conflict with that priority, management changes are often necessary. But, we are hopeful that anglers and campers alike can now enjoy a better and safer experience when visiting Lower Portneuf.”

Fish and Game will begin stocking rainbow trout in the Portneuf River near this access site before Memorial Day weekend. This stretch of the Portneuf River also provides some great opportunity for native Yellowstone cutthroat trout.