O’Dell Creek holds a special place in my heart.
The first time I saw it was in August 2006 with Alex Diekmann. Alex and I worked together at the Trust for Public Land; he was a project manager, and I was a lobbyist. He found the places to protect, and I helped find the resources to try and protect them. One of the last times I was with Alex we fished O’Dell together.
The O’Dell project as it has come to be known is the conservation vision and hard work of Jeff Lazlo. Jeff has made O’Dell Creek wetlands restoration an award winning model for citizen-driven conservation. In doing so he created a source of cold, clean water and a haven and breeding ground for native cutthroats in the Madison River.
Alex’s death was a blow to many of us, but his legacy of fishing and conservation I am delighted to say lives on in his youngest son Liam.
Liam writes of fishing and conservation for Mountain Journal. His latest article, For Every Great Trout Stream, There’s a Conservation Map, is his story about working on Lazlo’s, Granger Ranch, home to O’Dell Creek.
I thought the way you learned about trout was by catching them. But my project taught me how and why a good trout stream exists. Clean, cold water filled with healthy amounts of natural fish food doesn’t just happen.”
Liam is a fine young outdoor writer, and his work reflects a conservation ethos steeped in things he learned at his mother’s and father’s side. His articles in Mountain Journal are worth the read.
If you don’t know Mountain Journal, it is a new publication keeping a weather eye on the Yellowstone ecosystem. They are a not-for-profit public interest journalism outfit, check it out and shoot them a few buck so they can keep lights on and the presses running.