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Belmont Creek

Location map for Belmont Creek in the Blackfoot Watershed

Belmont Creek, a second-order stream, originates on the Lolo National Forest with base flows of approximately 13 cfs. Belmont Creek flows 11 miles southeast through a checkerboard ownership pattern of public and private lands before entering the Blackfoot River at river mile 21.9. Two undersize culverts were placed in Belmont Creek in the 1960's that blocked fish migrations in most stream flow conditions. Concentrations of bull trout were documented at the culverts for over 20 years indicating a passage problem. 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. Belmont Creek ranked 7 of 83 streams surveyed.

The large amount of fill placed over the culverts and the difficulty with the site for bridging prolonged a solution to the problem. In 1994, a site about 1/4 mile above the culvert crossing was used to construct a bridge and facilitate removal of the culverts. A bull trout spawning site was observed in 1995 above the culvert site. Additional riparian improvement projects have been implemented including livestock grazing management and road drainage fixes.


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