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Wasson Creek

Location map for Wasson Creek in the Blackfoot Watershed

Before photo of the irrigation diversion on Wasson CreekWasson Creek is a first-order basin fed stream and tributary to upper Nevada Spring Creek. Base flows at the mouth of Wasson Creek are approximately 2.0 cfs. Land uses in the drainage include grazing, timber harvest and irrigated hay production.  Wasson Creek provides recruitment of cutthroat trout to Nevada Spring Creek and Nevada Creek, although far below it's potential. The fishery is impaired by past grazing management practices and dewatering resulting from irrigation and barriers to fish passage in lower reaches.

Wasson Creek contains westslope cutthroat trout, with low numbers of brown trout present in the lower reaches. Fishery surveys in 1991 showed catch-per-unit-effort decreased in the downstream direction from approximately 27 fish/100 feet (mile 3.0) to less than 1.0 fish/100 feet near the mouth.

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. Wasson Creek is ranked 21 of 83 streams surveyed.

In 1995, restoration efforts began in the Wasson Creek drainage. The first project implemented was a rotational grazing system with cross fences and off-site water development. This project is not only benefiting the stream and riparian areas but also the native bunch grass prairie. Also in 1995, 1,750 acres were perpetually protected through a conservation easement with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Fencing project on Wasson Creek
In 1998, a fish/stream friendly irrigation diversion was constructed to allow fish passage, instream flows and bedload transport. One undersized culvert was also removed and replaced with a bridge. Other projects in the watershed are pending. Fsh/stream friendly irrigation diversion on Wasson Creek

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Blackfoot Valley Watershed
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