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Poorman Creek

project location in Poorman Creek in the Blackfoot River Watershed

Poorman Creek, a 3rd order tributary, flows 14 miles to its confluence with the Blackfoot River at river mile 108. Poorman Creek headwaters in the Helena National Forest flowing through small sub-divisions and one large ranch at the confluence with the Big Blackfoot River. Grentier Spring Creek, a tributary that recieved several restoration projects in the early 1990's, is a tributary to lower Poorman Creek.

Poorman Creek has several documented land management problems including, placer mining in the headwaters, undersized culverts throughout the watershed, mulitiple sub-divisions, dewatering from irrigation and improper grazing management. Despite some of the land management problems, Poorman Creek still supports fluvial runs of westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout.

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. Poorman Creek ranked 3 of 83 streams surveyed.

The Helena National Forest and Lewis and Clark County have addressed two of the undersized culverts, replacing them with larger squash culverts with baffles. They are presently assessing all of the other culverts to prioritize replacement. The Blackfoot Restoration Partners have designed and negotiated several restoration projects on the Grentier Ranch at the mouth of Poorman Creek. Projects include instream restoration, riparian management through the USDA Riparian Conservation Reserve Buffer Program; consolidation of irrigation ditches, screening the consolidated ditch, conversion from flood to sprinkler irrigation and water leasing to protect instream flows.

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Blackfoot Valley Watershed
Montana Partners for Fish and Wildlife
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Mountain-Prairie Region
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service