The Future Fisheries Improvement Program recently awarded $40,000 to two drought-related stream projects, amid signs that drought may be a factor again this summer in some portions of Montana.
“We are seeing signs that the drought is still with us, making these two projects important additions to the efforts so many are making to help keep water in Montana’s streams and rivers,” said Glenn Philips, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks habitat protection bureau chief.
The two projects are on the Boulder River in Sweet Grass County at the Lamp-Nelson ditch, and on the Jefferson River Canal and Creeklyn ditch in Jefferson and Madison counties.
A $31,266 project on the Boulder River will develop off-canal stock watering well systems for two ranches that need water for livestock. In exchange, the landowners will close the ditch headgate at the end of irrigation season, but no later than Oct. 1. The result will be to conserve water in the Boulder River to benefit rainbow and brown trout.
A $10,111 project on the Jefferson Riverwill reseal the Creeklyn Ditch and Jefferson Canal for additional water savings to benefit rainbow and brown trout.
The Future Fisheries Improvement Program’s regular deadlines of July 1 and January 1 are additional opportunities for funding for projects that improve Montana’s fisheries.