Lost Creek is under construction, the road will be paved, and the hope is it might become a blue ribbon fishery. The area was only a mere 5 points short of the blue ribbon status, due to the lack of a decent access. With the road soon to be paved and more accessible to the public it is anticipated the status will change. But that isn’t all in the plans for Lost Creek. On Tuesday night, the County Council discussed the prospect of building up Lost Creek Reservoir and turning the area into a county park.
Council member, Austin Turner stated, “Turning Lost Creek into a county park will give us the ability to start collecting fees for using Lost Creek.”
The committee that’s working on the Lost Creek construction project met to discuss the road. A $40,000 grant was received to add an additional bathroom, so there will be double the bathroom space at the dam. It will be installed this fall. All the bathrooms will be replaced over the next 5-7 years. The current bathrooms have a life expectancy of 8-15 years, depending on the use. The committee has gone through and identified the ones that are in need of being replaced.
More grants were discussed, the hope is to have the funds to continue the momentum of developing Lost Creek. The development committee is also looking at expanding the width of the boat ramp so people can launch at least two boats at one time, that application for those funds should be submitted in January. If the application is successful, construction on the boat ramp will commence in July 2019.
The application for the $600,000 from the Federal Fish and Wildlife department typically takes 2-3 years according to council member, Robert Kilmer. The council had the application submitted and the funds accessible within 6 months. Kilmer said, “They were amazed, and said it’s unheard of. They said they don’t want to let the momentum die. They had no idea we could get his road project going this year. They are committed to getting Lost Creek upgraded to Blue Ribbon Status.”
Kilmer continued, “One of the things the Bureau of Reclamation is concerned about and what they would like us to do…is make this [Lost Creek] a county park, and that we bring in a camp host during the summer season and that we open up to camping. There is a large camping area below the dam, and areas just east of the boat ramp. People would be allowed to pitch tents along the lake. They really want to see that before they remove the yellow gate.”
It is an ongoing discussion the council will be having over the next few months in preparation for the 2019 camping season. There are some landowners in the area who will have to make sure their signage for their property is accurate so the public knows where private property begins.
The road work started on Monday, 740 tons of leveling force from Geneva Rock was laid. In the past, Lost Creek once brought in 180,000 people a year. There is a new hope with opening camping, and making Lost Creek a county park that numbers like the past might be a reality again.