Press Release

The Clark Fork Driftyard access site will be temporarily closed this fall and winter for habitat restoration on the Clark Fork Delta

The Clark Fork Driftyard access site will be closed to the public from Monday, October 18 to approximately April 15, 2022 for habitat restoration on the Clark Fork Delta

Idaho Fish and Game has started Phase 3 of the Clark Fork Delta Restoration Project. Construction activities will require closure of the Clark Fork Driftyard access site, which is located within the Pend Oreille Wildlife Management Area

The closure is necessary to provide the contractor with a location to stage supplies and equipment, while protecting the public and contractor from unsafe conditions associated with an active construction site.

We recognize the timing of the closure of the Driftyard access site will overlap with waterfowl seasons and impact fishing access this fall and winter. However, the project will restore and improve delta habitat by stabilizing banks, creating emergent benches and islands, and planting vegetation aimed at protecting and improving wildlife habitat, hunting and fishing opportunities into the future. Below are some alternative access sites to consider.

Clark Fork Driftyard Access site
Creative Commons Licence
Idaho Fish and Game

Johnson Creek access site

During the closure, the Johnson Creek access site will provide the nearest alternate access point for launching watercraft. This site is one of the more popular access sites managed by Fish and Game in the Panhandle. When Lake Pend Oreille is at winter lake levels (November – March), this site does become difficult to use for most boats.

It is located on the south bank of the Clark Fork River, about three miles south of the town of Clark Fork. The site offers convenient access for hunters and anglers to the Clark Fork River, Clark Fork Delta and Lake Pend Oreille.

Johnson Creek boat launch
Creative Commons Licence
Rob Jakobowski/Avista

Derr Island access site

Another nearby option is the Derr Island access site on the Clark Fork River.  This site was recently developed in conjunction with the Clark Fork Delta restoration phase 2 project. It is located along the Johnson Creek road, west of the private Derr Island bridge.  When Lake Pend Oreille is at winter lake level, this site provides better access than Johnson Creek.

To learn more about these access sites that are owned and managed by Fish and Game, read this press release.

Clark Fork channel access
Creative Commons Licence
Ken Bouwens/IDFG

Planning your trip

North Idaho is full of incredibly diverse hunting and fishing opportunity.  If the Driftyard access site closure impacts your plans, check out the Idaho Fishing Planner and Idaho Hunt Planner to get ideas for and plan your next outing.  Both planners are great planning tools for sportsmen.

A guide to Fish and Game’s fishing and boating access sites is available online at Keeping access sites open during the coronavirus pandemic depends on responsible use. The Recreate Responsibly Idaho website details Governor Brad Little’s guidelines for outdoor recreation and provides information on what’s open across the state.

Hunting and fishing licenses, tags and controlled hunt applications can be purchased:

Direct links to:

Learn more about:

For more information or if you have any questions, contact the Panhandle Regional office at (208) 769-1414.

Follow us on the Panhandle Region Facebook page for regular updates and news.

Clark Fork waterfowl hunter
Creative Commons Licence
Idaho Fish and Game

Clark Fork waterfowl hunter.