One of the best public fishing spots in Dane County is getting bigger.
Dane County officials announced on Monday that an agreement has been reached with a property owner for permanent easement of 154 acres along the Sugar River south of Verona. The land is adjacent to 450 acres the county bought last year from the Bruce Co.
The easement purchase was made possible by a grant from the Natural Heritage Land Trust, a Madison-based conservation group devoted to preserving natural areas in Dane County.
The easement costs over $300,000, with $161,000 coming from the county's conservation fund, the rest in matching funds from the Natural Heritage Land Trust and a national lands protection program.
The 600 acres give the county a 2 1/2 mile stretch of public access to the Sugar River, according to a news release.
The 2014 county budget includes $300,000 for a new recreational trail running from the former Bruce Co. land north to Sunset Drive in Verona.
A parking area was installed on the south end of the property last fall and another lot and canoe launch is coming this spring.
"Whether on foot or in the water, what we are doing today means families will be able to relax and enjoy one of the finest natural resources in the state and region for generations to come," said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi in a statement.
The purchase of the permanent easement is contingent on approval by the Dane County Board.