Clark Fork post Milltown Dam

Angler 77

AKA Scott Jones
I remember being pretty tuned in as Milltown Dam was being removed and all of the sudden over a decade has passed. I drove by the site over the holidays and that's probably the first time I've thought about it since 2008.

What's the latest? Have you seen an effect, positive or negative, on the fishing in the Clark Fork and/or it's major tributaries up and down stream of the dam? Have there been die off's as contaminated sediment that wasn't removed flooded the system? I'm keen to hear what's gone on since the removal.

Thanks
 

Angler 77

AKA Scott Jones
I guess more than "how's the fishing?" I really want to know how are the fish, how are the bugs, birds, otters etc.......?
 

Kyle Smith

Active Member
The last time I fished below the dam site, around 6 years ago, the fishing was pretty good. So were the hatches.
 

Angler 77

AKA Scott Jones
Come and fish it and see for yourself.
OMJ, thanks for chiming in. There are billions of us on the planet, if we all drove 600 miles each way, just to answer a curiosity we'd be worse off than we are now. Really I'm more interested in the health of the river with the dam gone, than I am the fishing, so I'm not asking for anyone's fishing secrets.

With all the conversation about the Elwha, Snake and Klamath dams I would have expected more interest in the Clark Fork, which is after-all a major trib of the Columbia. Maybe since it is all resident fish and no anadromous there isn't much interest in it???

Thanks anyway
 

Angler 77

AKA Scott Jones
The last time I fished below the dam site, around 6 years ago, the fishing was pretty good. So were the hatches.
That's good to hear that the hatches were robust, I know there was concern that the polluted sediment would wipe the bugs out.

Thanks Kyle
 

Rock Creek Fan

Active Member
It was a good success with some continuing challenges:


 
I think a couple runoff seasons got rid of lots of the bad dirt. Send that shit to northern Idaho...
If I recall correctly, it was thousands of railroad cars that got rid of the bad dirt (e.g., contaminated sediments). A lot of planning, effort, and expense went into figuring out how to remove those sediments with a minimum entering the flow. I think the OP was interested in how that worked out.

I also recall a lot of press about how removal of the dam would permit migratory behavior of bull trout, in particular, but also brown and rainbow trout to upstream spawning grounds. I would be surprised if the state hasn't been monitoring that. Does anyone know if there have been any results published?
 

Angler 77

AKA Scott Jones
It was a good success with some continuing challenges:


Great, thanks for the articles. That second one in particular was a good read and touched on a lot of what I wondered about.

I get that dams and dam removal is a hot button topic, and there are a lot of communities and factors to consider. I'm all for removing any and all small to large, that make sense to remove. It's just a question of your own values as to what "makes sense" means to you.

Scott
 

Matt B

...
WFF Supporter
I have a friend with a place in Superior. He said hatches were noticeably depressed for a few years but that now it’s back.
 

Old Man

A very Old Man
WFF Supporter
OMJ, thanks for chiming in. There are billions of us on the planet, if we all drove 600 miles each way, just to answer a curiosity we'd be worse off than we are now. Really I'm more interested in the health of the river with the dam gone, than I am the fishing, so I'm not asking for anyone's fishing secrets.

With all the conversation about the Elwha, Snake and Klamath dams I would have expected more interest in the Clark Fork, which is after-all a major trib of the Columbia. Maybe since it is all resident fish and no anadromous there isn't much interest in it???

Thanks anyway
Hell I drove 800 miles both ways just to fish and drink with my buddies in Washington State. Did it 2 years in a row. Now getting on in years so I don't do it anymore.:rolleyes::rolleyes:
 

Kyle Smith

Active Member
Another big factor in the health of the CF is the work being done in the headwaters. Massive amounts of poisonous dirt are being removed from the banks in the Warm Springs area. Some sections have been closed.

I'm unfamiliar with the current status of that project, but have experienced shitty fishing in the upper CF the past five years. The long term benefit will probably make for an incredible fishery up there.

Another thing I haven't heard much about is the discharge of treated water from the Berkeley Pit into Silver Bow Creek. What has the impact been there? I know that westslopes were recently restored in that section.
 

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