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Success Stories - Northwest Montana

Beavertail Pond (Missoula County)

Beavertail Pond Beavertail Pond

Installation of large woody debris into Beavertail Pond, located near the community of Clinton in the Clark Fork drainage. The strategic placement of salvaged Christmas trees (left photo) and large conifers along the shoreline (right photo) provides cover and habitat complexity for yellow perch, pumpkinseed, and largemouth bass.

Cottonwood Creek (Powell County)

Cottonwood Creek Cottonwood Creek

Enhancement of upstream fish passage on Cottonwood Creek, a tributary to the Blackfoot River, located near the town of Ovando. The left photo shows a perched culvert creating a passage barrier for most fish. The right photo shows the road crossing replaced with a new free-span bridge. This project benefits both westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout.

Dry Creek (Mineral County)

Dry Creek Dry Creek

Dry Creek, a tributary to the Clark Fork River near Superior, supports a variety of fish, including bull and westslope cutthroat trout. However, an irrigation diversion dam was previously a barrier to fish movement and prevented access to the upper five miles of Dry Creek. This project involved replacing the existing wood crib diversion (left photo) with a series of rock weirs that allow fish passage around the diversion (right photo).

Eustache Creek (Mineral County)

Eustache Creek Eustache Creek

Channel restoration on Eustache Creek, a tributary to Ninemile Creek in the Clark Fork drainage. Historical placer mining created braided and intermittent reaches on Eustache Creek (left photo). Installation of a series of ground water retention sills resulted in the creation of a permanently flowing stream channel, benefiting both westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout (right photo).

Jacobsen Spring Creek (Powell County)

Jacobsen Creek Jacobsen Creek

Restoration of Jacobsen Spring Creek, a tributary to the North Fork Blackfoot River, located near Ovando. The goal of the project was to restore aquatic habitat on an over-widened and shallow spring creek and enhance recruitment of trout, especially westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout, to the North Fork Blackfoot River. The left photo shows the spring creek before restoration. The right photo shows the spring creek after restoration providing excellent habitat for trout.

Kleinschmidt Creek (Powell County)

Kleinschmidt Creek Kleinschmidt Creek

Kleinschmidt Creek, located west of the town of Ovando, before (left photo) and after (right photo) channel restoration. This project involved restoring the dimension, pattern and profile of 12,000 feet of channel to improve habitat for resident brown trout, rainbow trout, and brook trout.

Mill Creek (Missoula County)

Mill Creek Mill Creek

Replacement of an under-sized and perched culvert on Mill Creek, a tributary to the Clark Fork River near Frenchtown. The goal of this project was to enhance upstream passage for westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout. The left photo shows the old culvert creating a passage barrier for upstream migrating fish. The right photo shows the new open-bottom arch culverts that provide for fish passage under all flow conditions.

Rattlesnake Creek (Missoula County)

Rattlesnake Creek Rattlesnake Creek

Construction of a fish ladder on Rattlesnake Creek, a tributary to the Clark Fork River, located near Missoula, to provide upstream passage for westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout. The left photo shows the water supply dam on Rattlesnake Creek creating a passage barrier for upstream migrating fish. The right photo shows the fish ladder in operation.

Stinger Creek (Lake County)

Stinger Creek Stinger Creek

Channel restoration on a reach of Stinger Creek, a small spring creek located near the town of Ronan. The stream was historically channelized and aerial spraying destroyed the riparian vegetation (left photo). A natural meandering channel was constructed, riparian vegetation was re-established, and the riparian corridor was fenced (right photo). Rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout benefited.

Warren Creek (Powell County)

Warren Creek Warren Creek

Installation of a series of step-pool structures in Warren Creek, located near the town of Ovando. These step-pools provide for fish passage and create head to deliver water down a water irrigation diversion (located on the left side of the photographs). The left photo shows the channel during construction of step-pool structures. The right photo shows the completed step-pool structures following construction.