By Casey Hackthorn
Trout Unlimited’s Upper Clark Fork Program Manager
Trout Unlimited and the Clark Fork Coalition (CFC) recently completed installation of the first fish screen on the Clark Fork River at the Alvi-Beck Diversion near Galen. The project included replacing the diversion dam with an engineered riffle that will allow both fish and floaters to move freely through the site while enhancing fish and wildlife habitat with additional wetlands and large wood bank structures. The project was supported by WSCTU along with several partners including George Grant Chapter TU, Montana TU, Resources Legacy Fund, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Montana Natural Resource Damage Program, and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
In addition to the funding support, TU and CFC volunteers rallied from Missoula, Anaconda, Butte, and Dillon to help replant the site on October 30th, putting the finishing touches on top of the construction work completed by Glacier Excavating of Eureka and designed by River Design Group of Whitefish. The project is the first of eight diversion dams on the Clark Fork in the Deer Lodge Valley that TU and CFC are working to improve for fish and boat passage over the next several years. Stay tuned for more to come.
Trout Unlimited’s projects on the upper Clark Fork are working to change this section of the river from a drive by to a fishing destination we all can enjoy.