Plenty of anglers depend upon Bill Frome Park for access to fish on Henry’s Lake, the big trout paradise in Island Park.
It’s the only public boat access on the west side of the lake, and the only Fremont County owned campground.
Thanks to an agreement with the Bureau of Land Management and a county planning effort, the public can soon expect an even better experience at the park.
Last fall the county secured a long term lease from the BLM for the 4-acre park and a planned 7-acre enlargement. Improvements will include more campsites that accommodate larger RVs and designated accesses for different types of users.
The lease agreement with the BLM marks the end of eight years of work for the two entities, and it allows the county more freedom in managing the park.
The most noticeable change is a $15 camping fee initiated in August. Less noticeable is a 2,100 foot wildlife friendly smooth wire fence built around the undeveloped 7 acres just north of the existing park.
While this year’s fishing and camping season is winding down, the planning effort will ramp up to decide how to improve angler parking at the existing access, as well as create a new access for non-motorized watercraft such as float tubes and kayaks along the shore of the new area.
The new access will require an additional parking area. For that “modest footprint” project the county is partnering with the Henry’s Lake Foundation for planning help, says Tamra Cikaitoga, director of the county Parks and Recreation Department.
The initial plan for the enlargement includes adding 20 campsites — some that are drive-through for larger RVs and tent sites — and a group site for reunions. The addition will be offset by the removal of about 10 campsites in the original Frome Park to make way for more parking there.
Cikaitoga says grants will be sought for two new wells and three more vault toilets, and the timeline for finishing the project will depend on securing those grants. “Three years will be tight,” she said.
This year, as many forest campgrounds were closed yet many people were on the road looking for camping sites, Frome Park was fairly busy, she said. The park’s primary users are anglers looking to catch big trout at the famous Henry’s Lake fishery.
“A lot of people who camp here are looking for the fishing experience not a camping experience,” she said. But the park does cater to campers who often set up a base there and explore the nearby national parks by day and return at night.
No reservations are allowed at the campground, and there’s no power or sewer services.
A recent visit saw about half of the campsites occupied mid day, which Cikaitoga anticipates will be the norm through the end of the month.