By Tess Scanlon
Westslope Excavating from Seeley Lake wrapped up their work in the Rock Creek drainage on Gilbert Creek last month, after dedicating 6 months to phase 2 of the Gilbert Creek Habitat Restoration Project this year. From June to November, the crew built an impressive 2.75-miles of new channel for Gilbert Creek and restored spawning and rearing habitat for bull trout, brown trout, and other fish.
This project came about because the landowner saw an opportunity to restore the stream after human disturbances to Gilbert Creek in the early 1800s caused habitat degradation, including the bulldozing, and straightening of the stream along the valley wall for mining and grazing purposes. The collaborative habitat restoration and enhancement project was led by the landowner and involved several partners including, Bonnie Gilbert, Stream Tale Restoration, Wildland Hydrology, Westslope Excavation, and WestSlope Chapter of Trout Unlimited.