Loon Creek Habitat Improvement

Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Acquisition

Fish Passage Improvement Fish Screening Instream Flow
Project ID014 18 SA
Recovery DomainsSnake River
Start Date01/01/2019
End Date11/15/2022
Year2018
StatusCompleted
Last Edited05/08/2024
 
1 - 1

Description    


The Diamond D Ranch, in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area, is located at the headwaters of Loon Creek, one of the largest tributaries to the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, 42 miles north of Stanley, Idaho. NMFS has identified upper Loon Creek (upstream from the Diamond D Ranch) as containing critical Chinook salmon and steelhead spawning and rearing habitat.


A 100+ year old hydroelectric turbine which required 19 cfs to operate represented a limiting factor for Chinook and steelhead recovery as it reduced the quality of 0.5 mile of spawning and rearing habitat and limited access to 11.5 miles of Chinook and 24.8 miles of steelhead habitat. A new hydro system and was installed which increased instream flows by 8 cfs in a previously dewatered section of Loon Creek, above the confluence of Mayfield Creek. A new point of diversion and fish screen now prevent fish entrainment into the private lake that supplies water to the hydro system. Passage was improved with the higher flows in Loon Creek and the penstock barrier that was present during low flows has been changed from needing to be removed to being monitored. Chinook were observed spawning above the penstock and it is likely no longer a barrier. Therefore, in the final metrics, barrier removal is listed as zero, but miles accessed is still counted.


This project was completed by a coordinated effort between the Custer Soil and Water Conservation District, The Loon Creek Land Company, The Diamond D Ranch, and Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Note that this project was multi-year funded from FY18, FY19, and FY20; however, a component of the project was determined to need further monitoring and was not completed. As a result, only FY18 funds were used. The headgate component of the fish screen will be installed in summer 2023 under PCSRF contract 021 19 SA.

Project Benefit    


Loon Creek and its tributaries, including Trail and Mayfield Creeks, are critical spawning streams for Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and steelhead (O. mykiss). This project will result in increased in-stream flows in Loon Creek of approximately 8 cfs, improve fish habitat in/around the Diamond D Ranch, provide fish access to 11.5 additional miles of habitat by improving fish passage and prevent Snake River Spring/Summer-run Chinook Salmon and Snake River Steelhead from being entrained in the lake at the Diamond D Ranch by installing a NOAA criteria fish screen.

Accomplishments

Metric Completed Originally
Proposed
Fish Passage
  Barriers Removed 0 1
  Miles Opened 11.50 11.50
Fish Screens
  Screens Installed 1 1

Funding Details

SourceFunds
PCSRF$440,663
State$26,725
Other$42,625
In-Kind Donated Labor$76,353
In-Kind Other$10,200
Report Total:$596,566


Project Map



Worksites

Diamond D Ranch    


  • Worksite Identifier: Diamond D Ranch
  • Start Date: 01/01/2019
  • End Date: 12/31/2021
Area Description
Loon Creek

Location Information

  • Basin: Salmon (170602)
  • Subbasin: Upper Middle Fork Salmon (17060205)
  • Watershed: Upper Loon Creek (1706020510)
  • Subwatershed: Mayfield Creek (170602051003)
  • State: Idaho
  • Recovery Domain: Snake River
  • Latitude: 44.55
  • Longitude: -114.85

ESU

  • Snake River Basin Steelhead DPS
  • Snake River Spring/Summer-run Chinook Salmon ESU

Map

Photos

Metrics

Metrics
  • C.0 Salmonid Habitat Restoration and AcquisitionY (Y/N)
    •      . . C.0.a Habitat restoration and acquisition funding 596,566.00
    •      . . C.0.b Length of stream treated/protected .43
    •      . . C.0.c
      Project identified in a Plan or Watershed Assessment
      NMFS 2017. ESA Recovery Plan for Snake River Spring/Summer Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) & Snake River Basin Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss).
    •      . . C.0.d.1 Project Monitoring (LOV)
    •      . . C.0.d.2 Monitoring Location (LOV)
    •      . . C.1 Fish Screening ProjectY (Y/N)
      •      . . . . C.1.a Fish screen funding 243,412.00
      •      . . . . C.1.b Quantity of water protected by screens 7600 (Acre feet/year)
      •      . . . . C.1.c.1 Fish screens installedY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . C.1.c.2 Number of new fish screens installed 1
        •      . . . . . . C.1.c.3 Flow rate of screened water 11 (cfs)
      •      . . C.2 Fish Passage ImprovementY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . C.2.a Fish Passage Funding 6,154.00
        •      . . . . C.2.b.1 Length of stream made accessible 11.50
        •      . . . . C.2.b.3 Type of blockage/barrier (LOV)
        •      . . . . C.2.b.4 Number of blockages/impediments/barriers impeding passage 0
        •      . . . . C.2.c.1 Fish passage blockages removed or altered (other than road crossings reported in C.2.f to C.2.i)Y (Y/N)
          •      . . . . . . C.2.c.2 Number of blockages/impediments/barriers removed/altered 0
        •      . . C.3 Instream Flow ProjectY (Y/N)
          •      . . . . C.3.a Instream Flow Funding 347,000.00
          •      . . . . C.3.b Length of stream 'protected' for adequate flow .43
          •      . . . . C.3.c Change in water flow8 (cfs)
          •      . . . . C.3.d.1 Water flow gaugesY (Y/N)
            •      . . . . . . C.3.d.2 Number of water flow gauges 1
          •      . . . . C.3.g.1 Maintaining adequate flow or reducing withdrawalsY (Y/N)
            •      . . . . . . C.3.g.2 cfs (cubic feet per second) of water conserved per year8 (cfs)