Ackley Lake Club plans for ice fishing derby

The iron ranger at Ackley Lake State Park stands ready to accept donations to sustain and improve the park.

Photo by Vicky McCray




The Ackley Lake Club, the name of the citizen-created organization established to sustain and improve recreational facilities and opportunities at Ackley Lake State Park, met on Monday, Oct. 16, at the Hobson Fire Hall. 

John Taillie with Montana State Parks was in attendance at the meeting. He complimented the Club members present on the progress they have made. He had the Memorandum of Agreement put together by Parks and signed by Parks’ chief of administration, division administrator and director and needed the Club chairman’s signature on it. Chairman Garth French was unable to attend the meeting and Vice-chairman Granot presided. Secretary Nancy Epkes will get the MOA to French. The Club has been unable to accept donations at Ackley until the MOA has been signed.

The agreement notes State Parks’ and the Club’s responsibilities for running Ackley Lake. 

Parks will continue to manage and maintain Ackley Lake State Park. They will also approve and expend donation funding and assist, advise and approve of any improvements and developments by the Club at Ackley. Parks retains the right to disallow any projects inconsistent with Parks’ mission. 

The Club’s responsibilities include collecting the donations at Ackley and depositing them with CMF, as well as keeping a tally of the donations collected and maintaining the donation box at the Park.

Taillie explained the visitation does not translate into revenue. Residents do not pay for camping at Ackley. He said donation money is not being used to operate the Park but to add amenities to it. These include the addition of such things as picnic tables, latrines and fire rings and the replacement of boat ramps. According to statute, the donated funding cannot be used to supplement operations, budgets, personal services, etc.

Taillie told the Club that Parks will have a park warden at Ackley next summer. He is not completely sure what the warden will do, but he will be keeping an eye on fire restrictions. He will probably not be monitoring the number of people using camping sites. Parks and the Club need to come to a consensus concerning overflow camping. They also need to address the 14-day limit to camping at Ackley and the fact that campers must occupy their campers nightly.


Ice fishing derby and other new business

The Ackley Lake Club is sponsoring an ice fishing derby on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. They have received their permit from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. They have determined the entry fee for the derby is $20, with each entrant receiving a raffle ticket with the fee payment. 

The Club will provide $500 for a raffle, which will have three winners. The first prize will be merchandise worth $300, second prize will be merchandise worth $150 and third prize will be a $50 gift certificate. 

Lewis Reedy will be in charge of gathering the raffle prizes.

The Club agreed to use half of the total entry fees for prize money, with 30 percent going to the first-place winner and 20 percent going to second place. A third-place winner will receive an Ackley Lake Club shirt.

The size of the winning derby fish, which must be a rainbow or brown trout, will be determined by multiplying the length and weight of the fish. Only one fish per person can be submitted for the contest.

In other new business, Roger Epkes agreed to make sure the iron ranger located at Ackley Lake has donation envelopes available for people. He will also pick up the donation envelopes.

Reedy has spoken to a couple of people, one from the Sports Center in Lewistown and the other from Don’s Store in Lewistown. They have agreed to carry Ackley Lake Club items. The Club moved to sell hats and t-shirts for $20 each and coffee cups for $10. Nancy Epkes noted she would also be happy to carry these items at Nancy’s Country Market. It was suggested the Oxen Yoke might also be willing to carry the items.

The next meeting of the Ackley Lake Club is set for Monday, Nov. 13, at the Hobson Fire Hall.



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