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Boat access on Antelope Lake being explored

By Staff | Mar 12, 2009

Fishing boats can be seen on Antelope Lake in southern Pierce County in the spring and summer months, but launching them is a bit of a challenge.

There is no boat ramp on the lake, leaving it up to anglers to find spots to get their watercraft in and out of the water. The problem is there are only a few ideal spots, and often trucks and trailers are lined up along county roads, causing a traffic concern for motorists, especially farmers passing by, driving machinery.

Efforts are underway to create a more ideal boat launch area on the lake.

Alan Pfliger, coordinator with the Upper Dakota Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D), said the entity has been contacted by area landowners interested in establishing a more suitable access point to the lake. Pfliger has contacted the Anamoose Wildlife Club, which has several members in the area, to see if they are interested in taking a lead on the proposed project.

“Basically, we (RC&D) are the facilitator in getting the parties together,” Pfliger said.

The next step is setting up a meeting between the members of the Anamoose Wildlife Club and landowners around the lake, and possibly N.D. Game and Fish officials.

Obtaining cost estimates to build a boat launch, parking and possible recreation area at the lake has to be determined. Working out a sale of land or lease agreement, as well as looking for ways of funding the project are some of issues to work through. Pfliger said there may be entities who could assist in those costs through grants. One possible source is the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District.

Funding the project is one thing, but finding a group to be the caretaker of the site is also important. Pierce County officials seem receptive to the project, but the concern is making sure the area would be maintained. The county does have arrangements to help cover some of the expenses of other recreation areas if an organization or group agrees to be the caretaker. A similar arrangement could set up at Antelope Lake.

Section 31 of Hillside Township in Pierce County is the site that is being looked at for creating the boat access, he said.

The Game and Fish has been stocking fish in the lake, and there have been reports of some nice walleye being caught. One of the concerns, however, is the lake level does fluctuate at times.

The project is one the RC&D is working on this year. The entity covers a seven-county region, that includes Pierce, McHenry, Bottineau, Mountrail, Ward, Renville and Burke counties

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