Hoyt Creek, a small
spring creek tributary to lower Dick Creek, originates from alluvial aquifers located
immediately north of the town of Ovando. Hoyt Creek flows four miles in a northwest
direction through agricultural ranch lands. The topography of the area consists of
knob-and-kettle terrain. The base flow of Hoyt Creek is estimated at 2 to 3 cfs.
The stream loses water to two
irrigation ditches and receives water from two return flow channels and one small
spring. The stream flows through several culverts, some of which are set above stream
base level and contribute to stream widening and sediment deposition. In order to
prioritize restoration resources, we developed a fisheries-based restoration priority
scorecard, based on biological, social and financial considerations, for 83 impaired
tributaries of the Blackfoot River. Hoyt Creek ranked 17 of 83 streams surveyed.
Restoration activities have included
removal of six undersized culverts and replaced with wooden bridges; reconstruction of two
irrigation diversions in order to facilitate fish passage and restore natural stream
grades; implementation of a 2,800 rest rotational grazing system with several cross fences
and off-site water development; and perpetual protection of wetlands, riparian areas and
native grasslands through a conservation easement on over 3,000 acres in the watershed.
|Before and after photos of a 50-acre restored wetland.
|Hoyt Creek with one of the new bridges
that was installed. In the background is a
man-made wind break and off-site water
development that was part of the grazing system.
|A view of the land surrounding Hoyt
Creek under a Conservation Easement