Six Mile Creek Project

Project Date: 2011

Fish habitat restoration at Six Mile Creek involved fish passage enhancement and the addition of a fish screen.

Sixmile Creek is an important tributary to the Clark Fork River and has potential to increase recruitment to the Clark Fork fishery. As part of Lolo National Forest fisheries inventories in the early 2000s, the Rose Ditch on Sixmile Creek was identified as a major source of fish entrainment.

Working with the irrigators, the Lolo National Forest and Trout Unlimited installed a Farmer’s Conservation Alliance (FCA) fish screen in the Sixmile Creek irrigation canal behind the existing canal headgate on the Rose Ditch.  In addition to installing the fish screen, project partners also removed a damaged, undersized culvert at the diversion site and replaced it with instream rock structures to provide constant head for the irrigation water delivery and prevent channel instability at the culvert removal site. The culvert appeared to be a barrier to upstream fish passage and posed a very significant risk of failing and contributing large amounts of debris and fine sediments into the creek. By removing the culvert the pojrect access to important up-stream spawning and rearing habitat for WCT, re-moved a potential source of significant sediment inputs, and eliminated the need for irrigators to in-stall the debris and tarp check structure to divert irrigation water from the creek.

Photos:  Fish Screen

              Culvert – before and after