Rock Creek is a tributary of the famous Big Wood River in central Idaho.  The 10,400 acre Rock Creek Ranch was recently purchased by the Wood River Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy.  Historic land use has resulted in degraded water quality, riparian, and in-stream habitat.  The watershed has been affected by overgrazing, head cutting, channel incision, channel straightening, fish barriers, and widespread stream bank erosion.  The goal of the Rock Creek Restoration and Reconnection Project is to restore stream health by improving water quality, habitat, and stream function, and to provide fish passage and connectivity between Rock Creek and the lower Big Wood River.  IMA has been contracted to design a project that meets project objectives and adheres to grant constraints and budgets.  IMA has completed field data collection and has provided concept designs that address fish barriers, bank stabilization, floodplain connectivity, and reconnecting the channel to its historic path in three locations. Riparian vegetation, wetlands, noxious weeds, and the irrigation system were also mapped as part of this project.  Phase 1 construction will begin Fall 2016.

GPS-ing beaver dams that create wetland and riparian habitat

GPS-ing beaver dams that create wetland and riparian habitat

Taking a flow measurement to establish baseline flows

Taking a flow measurement to establish baseline flows

Eroding banks that are addressed in the concept plan

Eroding banks that are addressed in the concept plan

One of the barriers to fish passage that is addressed in the concept plan

One of the barriers to fish passage that is addressed in the concept plan

Concept Design

Concept Design

Mapped priority wetland area

Mapped priority wetland area

Overview of all project locations spanning over 7 miles of creek

Overview of all project locations spanning over 7 miles of creek

 
Aerial photos showing irrigation practices over time and transitioning vegetation

Aerial photos showing irrigation practices over time and transitioning vegetation