Huey Lewis and “the Saga of Mitchell Slough”

Huey Lewis

Ever wonder what became of Huey Lewis? Why, look, here he is in Montana, feeding the ducks.

Here’s the back-story in a nutshell: First, I and two of my friends lip-synched the Huey Lewis song “If This Is It” for the fifth-grade talent contest. (I did not get to be Huey Lewis.)

Many years later Lewis bought a ranch down the road from Missoula along this little creek/waterway thing called the Mitchell Slough.

More recently, Lewis and his neighbors lost their court battle to have Mitchell Slough designated man-made. Such a designation would have exempted it from the state’s public-access law, which allows fishermen and duck hunters to do their thing on natural waterways that run through private property, even without the landowner’s permission, so long as they remain below the high-water mark.

So, in other words, the court found that Mitchell Slough is just as huntable and fishable as any other natural waterway in the state.

Until two months ago. That’s when Lewis started positioning duck-feeding stations on his property. The Missoulian explains just what a crafty move this was:

It is legal to feed game birds and waterfowl. It is also legal to boat or wade below a stream’s high-water mark, even if it passes through private property. But it is not legal to hunt waterfowl in an area where they are artificially fed.

So Lewis has effectively shut down duck hunting on his property, and he didn’t even have to get lawyered up this time around. The heart of rock and roll is still beating!

[Update] This is a good question:

“How are they going to retrieve ducks they shoot?” Hebner asked. “There’s not a landowner along the Mitchell that will allow any duck hunter to retrieve a duck on his property.”

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