Poindexter Slough – Construction Begins

Construction has started on Poindexter Slough!  R.E. Miller & Sons and Confluence Consulting began work on the slough just after the start of the year.  They are doing an amazing job getting rid of the sediment and creating new clean pools and riffles throughout the slough.

Phase 1 was to remove the old headgate that controls flows into the slough. It was replaced with a larger headgate capable of doing a channel maintenance flow every 5 to 6 years.  This part of the project alone will have major benefits to the fish habitat in Poindexter.  Here is the new and improved headgate:

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Poindexter Slough headgate at the Beaverhead River

Phase 2 entails completing the in-stream habitat work on all the private ground (Reach 1 and Reach 2a).  This proved to be much harder than originally anticipated.  Due to past stream work that was done in the slough, some of the pools had as much as six feet of sediment built up.  This created an issue for the “dig and pitch” type of channel narrowing that was planned.  We were able to work with the landowner and come up with an alternate plan of hauling most the sediment off-site and creating excellent gravel pools and rifles capable of maintaining great fish habitat. This work is near completed.

Fish enjoying the new gravel bottom of Reach 1
Fish enjoying the new gravel bottom of Reach 1

Phase 3 begins with the channel work at the start of the Fish, Wildlife & Parks property and continues to the Dillon Canal headgate (just north of highway bridge).  Phase 3 also consists of replacing the Dillon Canal headgate and the pin and plank structure.  Currently the pin and plank structure is used to get the water elevation high enough to support both the Dillon Canal and the neighboring landowner.  The new structure will be lower in elevation and water will no longer be backed up through Reach.

Work will begin on Phase 4 once more funding is secured.  This will consist of all the channel work from the Dillon Canal headgate all the way to the Beaverhead Riiver (Reach 4).  The current estimated cost for Reach 4 is $90,000.  The BWC will be looking to donors and various grant sources for the remaining funding.  If you would like to donate to the Poindexter Slough project contact the Beaverhead Watershed Committee today!

*All donations are tax deductible, however we advise you consult with your legal or tax advisor prior to donating.