2016 Canyon Creek Conservation Project
by Paul Patterson
For the 28th consecutive year the Snake River Cutthroats conducted our springtime conservation project in the Salmon/Lemhi River drainage. This year’s project was on Canyon Creek, a Lemhi River tributary east of Leadore. This is the third project that the Cutthroats have done on Canyon Creek. This project is part of a Forest Service five year plan to restore four miles of Canyon Creek. Canyon Creek was reconnected to the Lemhi a few years ago, which will ultimately restore previously lost spawning habitat for anadromous fish. The weather was a bit more challenging this year. So it was really nice to have Buck’s “tent” for cooking.
Forest Service biologist Craig Hemping who directed the project had plans to place root wads or to plant willows at 30 sites. Willows will provide shade and stabilize eroding stream banks, while the root wads help reduce erosion, stabilize stream banks and provide fish habitat. We finished all the sites by mid-afternoon and returned to the Smokey Cub campground to prepare and enjoy the traditional steak bbq.
The Eastside Soil Conservation District generously allowed us to use their water jet as they have in the past. The Forest Service has acquired ther own water jet, which helped speed the project along faster than expected.
Thanks to Pat Marushia, Richard Cain, Wade Allen and Duane O’Reilly for helping with the cooking and the cleanup. Thanks to everyone who brought food to share and stories about fish caught or the one that got away that just get bigger every year. Another great project!
Snake River Cutthroat participants on this year’s project included: Wade Allen, Mike Avery, Arn Berglund, Richard Cain, Tim Crain, Rory Cullen, Buck Goodrich, Ron Hover, George Klomp, Scott Long, Pat and Susan Marushia, Mike Miller, Ron Mizia, Danny Morse, Stephen Moss, Duane O’Reilly, Paul Patterson, John and Ryan Svoboda, and Matt Woodard. From Salmon River of No Return chapter we had Nancy Garcia, Jerry Myers, Gary Power and Frank Green. And from the Forest Service we had fisheries biologists Dan Garcia and Craig Hemping, and fish technicians Heyfa Khenissi , and Josh Stafford.