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Hell Creek State Park transition advances

Hell Creek State Park transition advances

Hell Creek State Park

Hell Creek State Park is being transitioned to the Little Shell Tribe for management.

Provided all goes well, later this year the Little Shell Tribe is expected to open a reservation system at Hell Creek State Park at Fort Peck Lake for the 2022 season.

During a recent call between the tribe, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – which manages the site at Fort Peck Lake – the parties discussed next steps in the process to assign FWP’s existing lease to the Little Shell. The goal is to have FWP’s Parks and Recreation Board review and vote on the lease assignment at its Dec. 9 meeting. After that, it must be approved by the Corps.

In mid-October, tribal chairman Gerald Gray and Little Shell staff shadowed state park employees as they winterized facilities at Hell Creek in preparation for assuming responsibility for managing the recreation area. The tribe is currently drafting its management plan for Hell Creek. After it’s reviewed and approved by the Corps, the tribe can begin taking camping and day use reservations for the 2022 season. More details about how to access the new reservation system will be announced at that time.

“The tribe is looking forward to providing a smooth transition for the reservation system, and we are excited for the upcoming season with Hell Creek users,” Gray said in an FWP press release.

People planning to visit Hell Creek next year can expect the same basic services. The recreation area accommodates most water sports and offers access to fishing for walleye, northern pike and smallmouth bass. It is also a popular ice fishing destination.

The 71-site campground is often full in peak season. Hell Creek also serves as a launch point for boat camping in the Missouri Breaks. Other services include a comfort station, potable water, playground, trails, fish cleaning station, RV dump station, and a group use shelter for special events.

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