By Tess Scanlon
TU staff are ramping up fisheries conservation project work in the Flint Creek area. During the 2021 field season, TU and partners implemented several fisheries improvement projects in the valley- some of which had been in development for years:Flint Creek Habitat Restoration
Fish in Flint Creek can enjoy newly restored habitat in a reach near Hall, MT. The Flint Creek Habitat Restoration Project on the Corbett-Downs property stabilized eroding streambanks and improved pool and riffle spawning habitat in a one-mile reach of the creek. Local contractors, Mungas Company and Burden Fencing completed the stream restoration and riparian fence construction with support from MT Natural Resource Damage Program, MT DEQ 319 Program, MT Fish Wildlife & Parks Future Fisheries Program, River Design Group, and Montana TU’s Big Sky Watershed Corps member, James Nash. The project site was revegetated in early November by Habitat Works, LLC with plants grown from nearby native plant nurseries.
Flint Creek Fish Passage Improvement
Brown Trout and other fish migrating to and from the Clark Fork River through Flint Creek will benefit from improved fish passage, since four of the major diversions and associated irrigation ditches on lower Flint Creek have now been retrofitted with fish screens. Mungas Company completed construction in fall 2022. Project completion wraps up a multi-year collaborative planning effort involving many private water users and landowners, the Allendale Irrigation District, MT Natural Resource Damage Program, MT Department of Natural Resources, TU, and Morrison-Maierle (others?). The project reconnects fish passage past the diversions, reduces the number of fish lost to irrigation ditches in Flint Creek, and improves delivery of ranch water for many ranches in the lower Flint Creek valley.
South Fork Lower Willow Creek Reconnection READ DETAILED REPORT HERE