Bypass Restores Drive-In Public Access To Gartside Reservoir FAS

Miles City - Richland County officials have restored drive-in public access to Gartside Reservoir Fishing Access Site near Sidney after a bridge on the main access road was closed for safety issues.

The bridge is still closed following a failed Montana Department of Transportation inspection in late October, but Richland County crews quickly constructed a bypass gravel road around the bridge to preserve access while allowing time for repairs. The bypass will be in place until repairs are complete or until April 1, when the road will need to be removed from the canal area for the irrigation season.

The MDT inspection determined that the bridge on county road 116 is no longer structurally sound, and it meets the threshold for emergency closure. Gartside FAS remained open, but the bridge is a half-mile from the water, making access difficult. County officials worked closely with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks to come up with the bypass.

Gartside is a popular fishing and recreation spot. Bird hunters utilize the surrounding state lands in the fall, and the reservoir sees a lot of ice fishing in the winter. The reservoir offers a diverse fishery, with bluegill, green sunfish, yellow perch, black crappie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike and channel catfish.


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