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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Washington wildlife commission approves acquisition of prime steelhead ‘reel estate’ along Grande Ronde river

UPDATED: Wed., May 12, 2021

Josh Mills, with the Wild Steelhead Coalition, stands along the Grande Ronde River in November 2019. In January 2020, the coalition purchased 8-acres of land with plans to donate that land to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.  (Fay Mills)
Josh Mills, with the Wild Steelhead Coalition, stands along the Grande Ronde River in November 2019. In January 2020, the coalition purchased 8-acres of land with plans to donate that land to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. (Fay Mills)

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission approved the acquisition of a prime piece of steelhead “reel estate” along the Grande Ronde River at its April 23 meeting.

The 8-acre parcel featuring 2,000 feet of riverfront access was bought by the Wild Steelhead Coalition in 2020. The undeveloped land, known as Turkey Run, is also adjacent to WDFW land already used by anglers and boaters.

The land is about a mile upstream from the mouth of the Grande Ronde.

The Wild Steelhead Coalition, with help from the Spokane Inland Empire Fly Fishing Club and others, bought the 8 acres for about $30,000 and always planned to give the land to WDFW.

The area will be incorporated into the agency’s existing Region 1 water access sites.

Lynn Miller, the former owner of the 8-acre parcel and an avid angler, had long allowed public access.

When he decided to sell the land, which he’s owned for about 30 years, he went straight to WDFW.

The agency didn’t have the money to buy it at that time, so it turned to the Spokane Inland Empire Fly Fishing Club and other groups.

The fly fishing club eventually partnered with the nonprofit Wild Steelhead Coalition and raised money throughout 2019.

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