The first phase of the Kilpatrick Pond project, the largest restoration project ever undertaken at Silver Creek, is scheduled to begin sometime between Sept. 10-15.
The Nature Conservancy of Idaho, which owns and manages Silver Creek, is restoring the preserve’s Kilpatrick Pond area to ensure the long-term health of the creek. The project will address rising water temperatures and sediment build-up at the pond that is affecting more than 15 miles of creek downstream.
The first phase of the project will start on private property owned by the Purdy family. According to a news release from The Nature Conservancy, fishing downstream of the preserve in Kilpatrick Pond will be closed for the rest of the season. Duck hunting will also be closed in this area.
“[The project is] the most important thing we can do
for the long-term health of the Silver Creek system.”
The Nature Conservancy
The Purdy project will reconfigure the dam, incorporating fish passage and the ability to release water from the bottom of the pond to help manage water temperature. The upstream construction portion of the project on the conservancy preserve will occur next fall. The existing permits allow for this phased construction approach.
Conservation Manager Dayna Gross said the project is “one of our highest priorities as a chapter and the most important thing we can do for the long-term health of the Silver Creek system.”
The conservancy, with the advice of design engineers, contractors and partners, decided to phase the project into two parts. The length of time the project took to get through the permitting and design process, the short construction window and the importance of quality construction factored into the decision, the news release stated.
Restoration plans include enhancing streamside habitats, creating a more diverse stream channel and stabilizing existing sediments by creating wetlands, which will help reduce temperatures in the pond by reducing its surface area. Additionally, several public access points will be created along a portion of Silver Creek.
Anyone who would like to obtain more information or donate to the project can stop by the Silver Creek visitor center or go to the project page: www.nature.org/kilpatrickpond.