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Success Stories - Eastern Montana

Bear Paw Lake (Hill County)

Bear Paw Lake Bear Paw Lake

Rearing habitat enhancement in Bear Paw Lake, located south of the city of Havre. Rocks were placed along a portion of the eroding east shore to provide rearing habitat for young smallmouth bass. The left photo shows the shoreline before treatment. The right photo shows the shoreline after treatment.

Box Elder Creek (Phillips County)

Box Elder Creek Box Elder Creek

Channel restoration on Box Elder Creek, a tributary to Telegraph Creek and ultimately Fort Peck Lake. The project restored channel connectivity by re-constructing a natural meandering channel that historically had been leveled for farming practices. The project also is working to re-establish native prairie grasses and streamside woody vegetation. The left photo shows the stream reach leveled by past farming practices. The right photo shows the restored channel. This project benefits a diverse assemblage of prairie fish species.

Crooked Creek (Carbon County)

Crooked Creek Crooked Creek

Fish passage barrier construction on Crooked Creek, located south of Billings.  Crooked Creek supports one of the eastern most populations of Yellowstone cutthroat trout. A natural barrier that protected the genetic integrity of the population recently washed out during a 100-year rainstorm. This project involved reconstruction of a fish passage barrier near a natural bedrock constriction to protect this unique population. The left photo shows the new barrier under construction. The right photo shows the completed barrier.

Eastern Montana Ponds (Phillips and Blaine Counties)

Eastern Montana Pond

Eastern Montana pond oxygenation. Many ponds in eastern Montana are prevented from sustaining a fishery because of low oxygen conditions that develop during the winter. This project, which included the installation of six aerators in five ponds, maintains oxygen during the winter and facilitates development of naturally sustaining fish populations, including largemouth bass and yellow perch.

Fresno Reservoir (Hill County)

Fresno Reservoir

Spawning and rearing habitat enhancement on Fresno Reservoir, located near the city of Havre. This project involved anchoring salvaged Christmas trees and root wads in known spawning locations to benefit yellow perch.

Nelson Reservoir (Phillips County)

Nelson Reservoir

Construction of a spawning reef on Nelson Reservoir, located near the town of Malta.  Reservoir fluctuations in Nelson Reservoir sometimes limit walleye reproduction. This project involved placing rocks on the ice during the winter to establish a spawning reef for walleye.

T&Y diversion on the Tongue River (Custer County)

T&Y diversion on the Tongue River

Upstream fish passage enhancement at the T&Y diversion on the Tongue River, a tributary to the Yellowstone River near Miles City. The T&Y Diversion Dam, located about 20 miles upstream from the confluence with the Yellowstone, was a barrier to fish passage and blocked spawning runs of fish from the Yellowstone. A fish passageway was constructed around the diversion, enhancing upstream passage for a rich assemblage of native warm water fishes.