Sheep Camp Landing, a new Lower Payette River access site near Letha, is open to the public and two familiar Lower Payette River sites have undergone site improvements during fall and winter.
Bass and catfish anglers, and waterfowl hunters will be some of the beneficiaries of these access improvements.
Visitors to Sheep Camp Landing will find a small boat ramp, parking area and a temporary restroom. Its location just east of Letha is five river miles below Sevenmile Slough access area, making it a great takeout point for river users.
The local landowner made this access area possible, leasing the land to Fish and Game for the benefit of outdoor enthusiasts. Site users need to be good neighbors.
Site improvements at Sevenmile Slough, located about 3.5 miles west of Emmett have been completed, including an expanded parking area and temporary restroom. The same improvements were also completed at the Plaza Bridge access northeast of Emmett, just below Black Canyon Dam. Together, these three sites offer a nicely spaced series of put-in and take-out points for river users.
To access Sheep Camp Landing, take Highway 52 west from Emmett, and turn right onto Toms Cabin Road, then left on Vanderdasson Road. Travel just over two miles, then turn right onto West Idaho Boulevard, cross the Payette River, and turn left onto Hanna Avenue. Travel just under one-half mile to Sheep Camp Landing.
The new access site and site improvements are not inexpensive, and a number of contributors helped make them a reality. Primary funding was provided by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as partial mitigation for a fish kill that occurred on the Payette River in 2013. You can read more about that and Fish and Game's work to restore the bass in the Lower Payette River.
Only about one-third of the mitigation settlement was utilized for work at the three sites, so river users can expect to see additional improvements in the future.
Fish and Game’s Access Yes! program partially funded the lease agreement for Sheep Camp Landing. Other project cooperators include the Last Chance Ditch Company and the Gem County Commission; their support and partnership in the long-term maintenance of these sites is very much appreciated.