The Jefferson Slough Eurasian Watermilfoil Control and Eradication Project has been highlighted in the Society for Ecological Restoration, Northwest Chapter’s Spring, 2018 newsletter.  Please follow the links to the SER website for project information:

Photo 1

Construction of narrower channel adjacent to infested segment of Jefferson Slough.
photo 2
Newly constructed channel segment immediately following seeding & hydro-mulching.

http://chapter.ser.org/northwest

http://chapter.ser.org/northwest/files/2018/03/Jefferson-Slough-Eurasian-Watermilfoil_Mike-Sanctuary.pdf

 

Bozeman Creek at Bogert Park, Recently Completed

Posted by Admin November - 17 - 2017 - Friday ADD COMMENTS

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The Bozeman Creek Enhancement Committee and the design team led by Confluence Consulting, TD&H Engineering, Intrinsik Architecture, Nishkian Monks, Vaughn Environmental, and Design 5 gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony on June 22nd to celebrate the completion of the Bozeman Creek Enhancement project. This project was established to improve Bozeman Creek through Bogert Park. Conceived in 2010, the project is the result of six years of planning, community involvement, fundraising, design and permitting. A top priority of the Bozeman Creek Enhancement Plan adopted by the City Commission in 2012, the Bogert project was the second project to be constructed using funding provided by the City’s Trails, Open Space and Parks Bond Fund.

 

Originating in the Gallatin Mountains and flowing north to its confluence with the East Gallatin River, Bozeman Creek runs right through the heart of Bozeman. Since the City’s early days, the stream was narrowed and straightened, banks armored, and floodplain filled to accommodate development. Bogert Park is located on what was the most highly altered and impaired section of the creek, the one-mile reach on either side of downtown. The creek through Bogert Park was little more than a ditch with high and unstable banks, no floodplain and only a thin line of vegetation, offering poor habitat for fish and wildlife. The creek’s degradDSC_0408ed condition discouraged recreational use. Its steep banks and linear, monotonous character were unattractive to most park users. The creek was difficult to access, presented a safety hazard during springtime high flows, and contributed far less than it could to the experience of park users.

 

The enhancement project improved the ecological and recreational values of the creek.  The channel was reconstructed to add a meander and a secondary channel for floodwater. The floodplain was re-established to slow velocities, filter runoff, and improve safety. Banks were re-graded to stable slopes. Existing vegetation was augmented, widening the riparian zone and improving diversity of species and age-classes. New park amenities include a stream access site hardened to withstand heavy foot traffic use, additional gravel trails, and a wider and longer clear-span footbridge. The project vastly improved the value of the creek as a community amenity, with opportunities for fishing, wildlife watching, and outdoor education.  Stop by Bogert Park to see it for yourself!

For the past 5 years, Confluence has been working with the Beaverhead Watershed Committee, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and the Dillon Canal Company on the Poindexter Slough Fisheries Enhancement Project near Dillon, MT. When completed, this project will improve fish habitat and flows through 4.75 miles of Poindexter Slough, a popular fishing destination due to lengthy, publicly accessible segments of the stream to anglers.

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New screw gates at head of Poindexter Slough

Following several years of planning, permitting, and fundraising, construction of the Poindexter Slough restoration project began in January 2015 with replacement of a headgate on the Beaverhead River to improve the flow of water in the Slough. The new headgate allows flow to be increased up to 200 cubic feet per second (cfs), promoting more sustainable habitat by flushing fine sediments, scouring deep pools, rejuvenating spawning habitat, and increasing aquatic insects. Base flows ranging between 20 and 50 cfs will be diverted into the Slough during most times of the year to provide more consistent year-round flows and generate water velocities and stream depths optimal for spawning, rearing, and angling.

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Pool excavation and fine sediment removal in Upper Poindexter Slough

 

Pool habitat was enhanced in the upper 2.25 miles of the Slough by removing fine sediments that had accumulated in the channel over several decades, and by reconfiguring the spacing, location, and dimensions of pool and riffle features. In addition, a 2,000-foot segment of the Slough just upstream of the fishing access was re-graded and narrowed to eliminate backwatering and sediment deposition caused by an old check dam that diverted water down the Dillon Canal. The check dam and headgate for the Dillon Canal were replaced with new structures placed at a lower elevation to prevent backwatering and fine sediment accumulations upstream in Poindexter Slough, while maintaining the ability to divert water down the Dillon Canal during the irrigation season. This highly acclaimed fishery is expected to rebound over the next five years.

 

A final phase of habitat enhancement in Poindexter Slough is planned for the lower 2.5 miles of channel downstream of the Dillon Canal to the confluence with the Beaverhead River. The Beaverhead Watershed Committee is in the process of securing funding for this phase, which is 100% publicly owned and managed by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. As warmer weather inspires you to get outdoors, be sure to put Poindexter Slough on your bucket list of places to visit. Contact Katie Tackett, coordinator for the Beaverhead Watershed Committee at beaverheadwatershed@gmail.com, or by visiting BWC’s website if you are interested in learning more about the project or donating to the cause!

Before

Over-wide segment of Poindexter Slough with eroding bank

After

Segment of Poindexter Slough narrowed to improve sediment transport and fish habitat. Photo taken immediately after construction.

 

Bozeman Creek Restoration Planning Continues

Posted by Admin January - 30 - 2014 - Thursday ADD COMMENTS

Efforts to return Bozeman Creek to a more natural state are flowing in Bogert Park.  Read the recent article in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle:

 

Plans flowing for curvier, more natural Bozeman Creek

Lovell to Speak in Belgium

Posted by Admin June - 18 - 2013 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

Confluence Principal, Jim Lovell will be speaking at the WALPHY symposium in Belgium this October. Jim’s presentation will explore the trade-off between minimizing risk and maximizing ecological gain. He will also discuss how decisions concerning risk effect short and long-term costs and public perceptions of project success.

The following is an excerpt from Jim’s presentation:

The level of risk and environmental benefit one is willing to accept is always negotiable. Negotiating risk and environmental benefit affects every aspect of project development and execution; from establishing goals, to developing design criteria, selecting construction methods and materials, and evaluating success after the project is completed.

Healthy rivers and floodplains are spatially and temporally dynamic, disturbance-driven ecosystems. Riverine plant and animal communities are adapted to this natural regime of change. Historic management of river systems (e.g. dams, flood levees, bank revetment, channelization, agricultural and urban development) has typically been aimed at reducing, managing, or otherwise controlling river dynamics and disturbance. This has resulted in reductions to the environmental benefits supported by healthy rivers, such as species diversity and physical, chemical, and biological processes. Successful restoration of natural, self-sustaining, and ecologically diverse river ecosystems must, therefore, include restoration of river dynamics and disturbance regimes that support these desired environmental benefits. However, this also increases the level of risk associated with restoration projects. Risks may include property damage, personal injury, or negative environmental consequences. Restoration success relies on the degree to which we accept, manage, and balance these risks with the desired outcome of maximizing environmental benefits of healthy rivers.

For more information on WALPHY, go to: www.walphy.be

Railroad Creek Habitat Improvements

Posted by Admin May - 31 - 2013 - Friday ADD COMMENTS

Confluence has been retained by Magnus Pacific Corporation to provide construction planning and stream restoration construction oversight services for the relocation and realignment of Railroad Creek in the Cascade Mountains of Washington. The channel is being relocated as part of a larger Superfund project to separate mine tailings from the active river channel and eliminate metals contamination issues in Railroad Creek and Lake Chelan. The project is being administered jointly by the U.S. Forest Service and the EPA. Project construction is slated to begin in May, 2013.

Bozeman Creek Restoration at Bogert Park

Posted by Admin January - 5 - 2012 - Thursday Comments Off on Bozeman Creek Restoration at Bogert Park

Confluence stream restoration specialists are working collaboratively with the Bozeman Creek Enhancement Committee (BCEC) to restore Bozeman Creek as it flows through Bogert Park. For over 30 years, this popular community playground and park has been host to Bozeman’s Farmer’s Market. Bozeman Creek flows six miles within the city limits to the confluence of the East Gallatin River. Over the decades, the creek has been channelized and tunneled through downtown as the city has grown. Gary Weiner of the National Park Service is coordinating restoration and public involvement. Gary’s services are on loan to the City of Bozeman through a grant. Primary objectives of the project are to restore water quality and natural processes of the creek. Last fall, Confluence stream restoration specialists and water resource engineers performed a site analysis and developed several conceptual plans. The benefits, risks, limitations, and relative costs of each alternative were presented to the public in a meeting at the Bozeman Public Library in early November. Alternatives ranged from widening the creek at select points to alleviate flooding, to adding a secondary channel, or slightly altering the location of the stream on the west side of the park. All alternatives are designed to create a meandering stream that brings visual appeal, fish habitat improvements, and better stream flow through Bogert Park. Confluence is completing the work to the BCEC at no charge to benefit the community that we live in and enjoy. Confluence Principal Jim Lovell has extensive experience restoring streams, trailways, and aquatic amenities in urban settings. His work throughout the U.S. has included parks, golf courses, urban walkways, and subdivision wetlands and ponds. Public comment on the Bozeman Creek project is welcome through the Bozeman Creek Enhancement Project webpage.

Confluence Consulting’s water resources engineer Ronda Burns recently attended the Montana Chapter of the American Fisheries Society meeting in Great Falls. She assisted Carol Endicott, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks. Carol presented “Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout Conservation in Lower Deer Creek: Population Replication, Nonnative Suppression, Barrier Construction, and Piscicide”. Confluence’s role in the project was performing hydrologic and hydraulic design for a fish barrier. Confluence also completed analysis and evaluation of several weir dimensions in order to determine the minimum dimensions of a structure that would maintain a four foot leap height and super critical flow at the toe in order to be a barrier for adult rainbow trout at all flows.

Confluence Assists Clients in Grant Funding

Posted by Admin March - 4 - 2011 - Friday ADD COMMENTS

Confluence’s Marketing Director Kara Stermitz attended the Water, WasteWater, and Solid Waste Action Coordination Team (W2ASACT) Funding Workshop in Great Falls. The workshop was held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Montana Rural Water Association. Confluence staff are skilled in assisting our clients in preliminary engineering reports and grant applications for a variety of state and federal programs, including the Renewable Resource Loan and Grant program, Treasure State Endowment Program, Future Fisheries, Community Development Block Grant program, State Revolving Loan fund and others. We stay abreast of program changes to offer our clients the most competitive applications.

Confluence in Our Communities

Posted by Admin October - 7 - 2010 - Thursday ADD COMMENTS

Confluence staff members have been active in their communities, completing a wide variety of volunteer projects. 

Wetland scientist Brian Sandefur and Stream Restoration Specialist Mike Sanctuary have recently assisted an Eagle Scout candidate on a stormwater detention and drain next to Sacajawea Middle School in Bozeman, MT.  With Brian’s guidance, the scout created a wetland community in the drainage area.  Brian and Mike also assisted in reducing thistle and weed infestation in areas near the school.

Confluence’s principal Jim Lovell recently helped mentor youth in a youth bird hunting program sponsored by Pheasants Forever.  In the months ahead, Jim will be helping Love Inc., a nondenominational Christian organization committed to helping needy in the Gallatin Valley.  Each year, Jim and his wife Sue purchase, package, and distribute food to the needy during the holidays. 

Kara Stermitz, Confluence’s Marketing Director, is continuing to keep her fly rod wet by assisting youth in Livingston’s classrooms in their science curriculum on streams, macroinvertebrates, and fish habitat.  Kara assists in the classrooms by helping students to identify insects and by helping with curriculum on stream dynamics.    Kara also volunteers for the Park High Ranger Boosters and Livingston Football Association.  Kara assists numerous community groups in grant writing, helping to improve Livingston’s baseball fields, fund programs for disadvantaged youth, and improve community amenities.