IMA Fieldwork Collage
Environmental Projects  





Project: Warm Springs Creek #2
Location: Mackay, ID
Date: 2011
Increase the available habitat for all of the lifestages of wild trout in the stream system including: spawning, juvenile rearing, adult holding and winter habitat.

Warm Springs Creek is a small, low gradient spring creek that originates approximately 2 miles west of the project reach. Warm Springs Creek is a tributary to the Big Lost River, with flows ranging from 10 - 25 cfs and influenced by adjacent irrigation practices. Prior to construction, the project site was in stable condition although it had been directly impacted by historic land uses. The creek was limited by a lack of in-stream habitat diversity and was dominated by shallow riffles and runs. Most of the fish in the project area were located in adjacent irrigation canals as the creek itself was so fast and shallow. The project consisted of the excavation of 39 pools; the placement of 41 logs in conjunction with the pools to provide cover and facilitate long-term scouring; the construction of 2 spawning beds; the creation of 7 point bars to decrease excessive channel widths and increase habitat diversity; and the placement of 20 boulders to maintain historic irrigation diversions. It was discovered in 2007 that the sandy substrate found in Warm Springs Creek was causing some of the log drop structures to be undercut. As with the previous project constructed just a short distance from this site, we returned and used a geo-grid fabric to armor the riffles above the log drops to prevent this underscouring. Despite the undercutting logs in some locations, pools maintained their depths and several large trout were observed in all of the constructed pools during and immediately after the maintenance activities.