The public would have access to fish along a section of a cold-water trout stream that feeds into the Sugar River if the Dane County Board of Supervisors approves the purchase of a permanent easement on Millum Creek.
The property along the easement, which is in the Town of Montrose, would still be owned by Mary Fritz, but public fishing would be managed by the county’s Parks Commission.
The proposal was presented to County Board with a price tag of $35,310 for 3.5 acres of land during their Nov. 29 meeting.
The proposal moves on to the County Board’s Environment, Ag and Natural Resources committee, and pending committee recommendation, would come back to the County Board in a few weeks for approval, Joshua Wescott, chief of staff for the county executive’s office, told the Press.
If approved, the land would be open for public fishing by spring, and signage will be placed to let people know where they can enter the land.
The county executive’s office introduced the deal earlier this year as a part of a 2007 streambank easement program that has protected 20 miles of stream since its inception, a Nov. 28 news release from the county said.
“These are the types of projects that keep families and businesses coming to Dane County faster than anywhere else in Wisconsin,” county executive Joe Parisi said in the release. “Having the opportunity to take a few hours or even a day away and spend time enjoying the amazing outdoor resources our county has to offer is integral to our quality of life.”
According to the release, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has rated Millum Creek as being “Outstanding and Exceptional Resource Water.”
The area up for purchase is downstream from the west branch of the river and southwest of the Falk Wells Sugar River Wildlife Area, which the county has been building with multiple purchases since 2013.The project started with an initial purchase of 466 acres of land and easement of former Bruce Company land around the Sugar River for $3 million.
Wescott told the Press the Sugar River area is a popular place for the county to focus on creating easements because of its proximity to Madison, while still being far enough out in the countryside.
“From our perspective, we like to focus on these projects because they come at a low cost and forever become a community resource,” he said. “Part of the attraction coming here is that there’s quality of life here.”