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Shineberger Creek Restoration     

Aerial project view showing the rebuilt stream reach, riparian corridor fence, stock tank and head gate

Montana map showing project locationAn unused irrigation diversion captured the entire flow of Shineberger Creek in southwestern Montana. Diminished flows and sedimentation reduced the creek's value to native cutthroat trout and other wildlife. In 1995, Partners for Fish and Wildlife, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and the Snowline Grazing Association closed off and gated the old irrigation diversion, restored 0.5 miles of instream habitat, and fenced the riparian corridor. Native trout immediately moved upstream into the restored habitat.

Ram pump location photo
Location of the ram-pump in the old irrigation diversion.

An alternative cattle watering source was developed outside the riparian corridor. An electric pump was not an option due to the distance to transmission lines and the high cost of solar powered equipment.

The solution was a hydraulic ram that utilizes the power in water flowing through a pipe installed in the old irrigation diversion. The ram-pump transfers the power in water falling 13 feet to lift water to a stock tank located over 100 feet higher than the creek and over 500 feet away from the riparian corridor.

Close-up view of the ram pump
Close-up view of the ram-pump.
More information on hydraulic rams can be found at: www.animatedsoftware.com/pumpglos/ram_pump.htm

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