This past week, Forest Service sawyers, and partners with the Lower Clark Fork Watershed Group, Trout Unlimited, and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, built nine woody structures in Prospects Creek on the Plains-Thompson Falls Ranger District. The project was supported by Avista’s Clark Fork Settlement Agreement.
Wood structure is vital for fish habitat.Adding large woody material, including whole trees, limbed logs and rootwads, to forest streams can provide many benefits to fish. Here are a few ways that woody material helps fish: allows spawning gravels accumulate; creates pools which provide important juvenile rearing habitat; slows stream speed which helps adult fish as they move upstream; provides shade, offering pockets of cooler water; provides fish with refuge from predators; and stabilizes banks, preventing erosion and decreasing sediment movement that can harm downstream habitat. Now you know, wood in streams is good!