Wednesday, April 2, 2014

TU to discuss Kilpatrick Pond restoration project

Water attorney to talk about issues relevant to trout habitat

Express Staff Writer

    The Hemingway Chapter of Trout Unlimited is hosting presentations about two important issues to trout and their habitat at its next monthly meeting, set for Thursday, April 3.
    The meeting will be held from 5-7 p.m. at Whiskey Jacques’ Restaurant & Nightclub on Main Street in Ketchum. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.
    Presentations will be focused on restoration under way at Kilpatrick Pond on Silver Creek near Picabo and a proposal to use “excess flow” from the Big Wood River to recharge local aquifers.
    The Kilpatrick Pond restoration project presentation will be provided by Dayna Gross, conservation manager for The Nature Conservancy, and Nick Purdy, owner of Picabo Livestock Co.
    The restoration project, one of the largest to date on Silver Creek, is intended to boost the health of the ecosystem by removing silt and reducing water temperatures, which build up because of the large surface area of Kilpatrick Pond. Restoration work includes dredging to remove excess sediments, enhancing streamside habitats, creating a more diverse stream channel, stabilizing existing sediments by creating wetlands and reducing the surface area of the pond.
    Trout Unlimited reported that an old dam has now been torn down and replaced with a new dam that incorporates fish passage and the ability to release water from the bottom and the top to help manage water temperatures.
    “While the landscape currently looks different, the future looks bright for all of the ecosystem’s residents who call Silver Creek home,” a news release states. “
    The meeting will also include a discussion from Trout Unlimited water law attorney Peter Anderson. He will speak about a proposal from David Tuthill, a former Idaho Department of Water Resources director, to recharge local aquifers by collecting what Tuthill calls “excess flow” from the Big Wood River. Anderson will address the issue as it relates to trout habitat.

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