Efforts to return the Yankee Fork of the Salmon River to its condition before mining and logging occurred there are going well, according to Trout Unlimited’s Jim Gregory.
Gregory reported to Custer County commissioners last week that the conservation group’s current project near Bonanza is in phase two. He also explained the turbidity incident that occurred last June 26. He said project managers weren’t measuring turbidity.
“We should’ve been,” he said.
Gregory said turbidity measurements will now occur where Trout Unlimited workers dig as part of an effort to move a section of the Yankee Fork. Gregory warned of future turbidity incidents when workers put water in the newly constructed stream, but said Trout Unlimited is prepared this time.
“With any luck we’ll finish that part of the project by next year,” he said.
Gregory briefed commissioners on other work. He said trees will be placed in Eight Mile Creek and a road removed from the creek’s floodplain. Loggers cut all of the trees down that used to be around the creek, leaving none to fall into it. Fallen trees are an important part of a moving body of water’s ecosystem and affect hydrology and fish populations.
Gregory said despite having to “spend the summer putting out fires” Trout Unlimited expects the project to be finished in 2020, but warned it could extend until 2021.