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.
|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.