August Rock Creek Project Updates

By Tess Scanlon

Spawning Reach of Ross Fork Protected

Newly installed fence will keep cattle off a spawning reach of Ross Fork Rock Creek. TU also helped the rancher develop a replacement water source and install a stockwater tank to provide off-stream access to water for cattle.

Fish Passage in Upper Rock Creek Improved.

A newly installed “Farmers Screen” on Rock Creek is working well to provide irrigation water to ranches while screening fish to keep them out of the ditch.

Project Partners: Natural Resource Damage Program, WSCTU, Trout & Salmon Foundation, Ranch at Rock Creek, Irrigators.

Headgate before:

Headgate after:

Fish Screen:


Construction ongoing for Phase 2 Gilbert Creek Habitat Restoration Project

Westslope Excavating out of Seeley Lake, MT is rebuilding over 8,000 feet of channel for Gilbert Creek to improve fisheries habitat. The project aims to restore spawning and rearing habitat for the bull trout, westslope cutthroat trout, and other wild fish in this tributary to Rock Creek.

Project Partners: TU, FishTale Restoration, Wildland Hydrology, Private Landowner, USFWS, Lolo National Forest.


Upcoming project tour of TU projects with Granite Conservation District on September 11, 2021

TU is partnering with the Granite Conservation District to lead a public tour of projects on September 11,2021. Contact Tess at for more information.



WestSlope Chapter TU earns $$ to reconnect 14 miles of habitat and protect an isolate WCT population in South Fork Lower Willow Creek

The WestSlope Chapter was awarded funding in March in support of the project to reconnect 14 miles of habitat for a robust population of genetically pure westslope cutthroat trout in South Fork Lower Willow Creek.  Tess Scanlon, WestSlope Chapter’s project manager in Rock Creek and Flint Creek, is managing the project to reconstruct an outdated irrigation diversion structure and install a “Farmers Screen” in the ditch. The new diversion and fish screen will reconnect fish passage and protect a minimum instream flow in the creek. Construction is scheduled to take place in October 2021.

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