Our biggest Chapter project was the commitment of $80,000 over two years to partially fund the Rock Creek Project Coordinator Position. Tess Scanlon was hired and got off to a great start. Among many other things, in 2018 Tess:
- Opened up over 10 miles of tributary spawning habitat
- Completed an irrigation diversion and fish entrainment prioritization report leveraging more funding
- Developed multiple landowner partnerships
In 2019, Tess is working on:
- Reconnecting 8 miles of critical spawning and rearing habitat on the Ross Fork
- Developing a trout friendly grazing program on the Ross Fork
- Initiating a 3 to 5 year fish passage program
- Prioritizing abandoned mine clean up work in the headwater tributaries
- Completing Gilbert Creek riparian re-vegetation project
- Writing grants to fund future projects
- And so much more including the Race up Rock Creek
The "Race up Rock Creek" is a joint venture between Trout Unlimited and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to learn more about how trout use the habitat in Rock Creek. Trout are tagged and then adopted through a donation, which is used to fund future work. For all the details, go to montanatu.org/race-up-rock-creek. You'll learn the fates of 54 tagged fish and gain an even greater appreciation for our Chapter's namesake fish.
FISH NAME: Bean
FIELD NOTES FROM BIOLOGISTS: Bean has swam 77 miles since May! Tagged in the confluence, Bean swam up Rock Creek and spawned in the little tributary Miners Gulch of Upper Willow Creek. At just under 1.5 lbs, Bean has made the longest spawning run out of all the Race contestants!
An exciting side benefit of our funding this position is that it has encouraged other Montana chapters to do the same around the state, including the Jefferson River, a stream in need of help. How cool is that?!
Video coming soon!