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Corral Creek Restoration
This project is an example of good fisheries management
and good cattle management working together.

photo of Corral Creek's degraded condition prior to restorationCorral Creek is located in the Centennial Valley of southwestern Montana, upstream from Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.

Historically, Arctic grayling spawned in the creek. However, shortly after settlement in 1876, a corral was built across the water which allowed cattle continuous access to the creek. Value to grayling decreased during that time as heavy cattle use widened the creek, made it very shallow and increased sedimemtation.

In 1994, Partners for Fish and Wildlife and the landowner negotiated an agreement on creek restoration. The objectives were to remove a major sediment source, improve fish habitat in the creek and manage the riparian corridor for cattle grazing.

The following work was completed:

  • The corral was moved off the creek to an upland site.
  • The riparian corridor was fenced and is part of a multi-pasture grazing system.
  • Five stock tanks were located off the creek and gravity fed from a popeline supplied by the creek.
  • The creek's stability was restored by narrowing and deepening 200 feet of channel and by restoring the meandering pattern.
  • 2,640 feet of poor quality streambanks were stabilized with rootwads, willow clumps and willow sprigs.

photo of the Corral Creek after restoration

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