- Associated Press - Monday, February 8, 2016

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) - State wildlife officials have finalized an agreement to let people trek through private ranchland to reach a popular fishing spot north of Picabo.

Idaho Fish and Game secured public access along 2 miles of the banks of Silver Creek downstream of U.S. 20 highway bridge, according to the Times-News (http://bit.ly/1Q3LIVM ). The deal was made with the Nick Purdy family, which has owned the property alongside the creek since the 1880s.

“That is a really, really popular fishing area,” said Roger Phillips, a spokesman for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. “It literally attracts people from all over the world.”

The Purdy family has granted the public access through temporary agreements with the state in the past years, but the most recent deal grants Idaho a permanent easement.

In exchange, the Purdy family was granted about 30 acres of state land, on which it has been farming hay and grain for years by agreement.

“The main reason for doing it is Silver Creek is so special that I don’t really look at anybody owning it,” Nick Purdy said. “It’s such an asset to the area and to the state. To lock it up just isn’t right.”

Purdy said the easement wasn’t a fair trade, but that it doesn’t matter because he wants others to have the opportunity to enjoy the river.

Fly fishing is also allowed from Dec. 1 through the last day of February for unlimited catch-and-release only.

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Information from: The Times-News, http://www.magicvalley.com

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