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John Owen Fishing Access Site REHABitat


Bank of the Bitterroot River in Stevensville at the John Owen Fishing Access Site at Stevensville Bridge 


Restore riverside vegetation for wildlife habitat, river shading, riverside cohesion, and aesthetics.


​Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks acquired this fishing access site in 2021 and was concerned by lack of riverside vegetation. The area was historically used as a dump site and has since been used heavily by the public for river access, making it difficult for plant to establish themselves along the riverside.


Riverside plants:

  • Form thick webs of roots that hold land together, reducing erosion

  • Improve water quality by filtering pollutants

  • Create shade to keep waters cool for thriving native fish and other aquatic life

  • Help refill our underground water supply

  • Provide important habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife

Project Description

  • Water Forum volunteers planted roughly 250 native trees and shrubs throughout the site in 2021.

  • Strategically installed fences to protect growing plants from foot traffic and wildlife browse.

  • Installed in 2022, a passive dripline system fed by a large water tank keeps plants efficiently watered.


2019 - Present


Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks


REHABitat area


REHABitat area, lacking vegetation



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