RDG has worked with the Big Blackfoot Chapter of Trout Unlimited since 2005 to develop fish screen designs for multiple irrigation diversions on tributaries to the Blackfoot River in the area between Seeley and Lincoln, Montana. To date, projects have been completed on Ashby Creek, Trail Creek, Morrell Creek, Stonewall Creek, Liverpool Creek, Nevada Creek and side channels of the Blackfoot River. These tributaries to the Blackfoot River and have been identified as high priority streams for addressing fish passage in critical bull trout habitat within the Blackfoot River Basin. Designs are intended to reduce entrainment of native trout in irrigation ditches and improve instream flow and migration conditions.
RDG’s scope included data collection and design of fish screens and diversion improvements. Specifications and construction cost estimates were provided to support procurement of a construction contractor. RDG provided construction oversight and as-built surveying to document compliance with construction documents. Screen types included flat panel horizonal screens, Farmer’s Conservation Alliance (FCA) passive vertical screens, rotary drum screens, and in-stream wedge-wire screens. Water rights ranged from 3 to 18 cfs per diversion. Types of diversion structures included log weirs, rock weirs and constructed riffles.