Managing Aquatic Invasive Species
In 2013, the Council organized a grant in cooperation with the US Army Corp of Engineers and the Valley County Weed District to survey and treat Eurasian watermilfoil, an aquatic invasive weed, below Fort Peck Dam. Through this grant, 68 miles of river were surveyed and Eurasian watermilfoil infestations mapped for future control. Four areas of the river were successfully treated with herbicides. The survey provided valuable information to guide future control efforts to combat this aquatic invasive species.
Engaging Students in Riparian Restoration
In the 1950’s many area of the Missouri River were armored with car bodies to control erosion. In 2008, the Council worked with the Sun River Watershed and landowners to remove 23,000 pound of material, including 20 car bodies and 2 truckloads of trash, from the riverbank near Great Falls. The Council then sponsored 7th graders from Holy Spirit Catholic School to install erosion control matting and plant willows. For their efforts, the students earned a first-place $50,000 prize in the national “Eco-Challenge” competition. Congratulations to those students!
Helping Landowners Adjust to Changes
Along Montana’s lower reach of the Missouri River, operation of the Fort Peck Dam creates fluctuating flows that deposit sediment throughout the river corridor, often plugging and disabling the 155 irrigation pump sites along the river bank. Roosevelt and Richland County Conservation Districts, area landowners, and state and federal agencies designed, built and permitted a dredge that turns the sediment into slurry that is re-deposited along sandbars and banks, creating habitat for endangered bird species and germination sites for native riparian vegetation.
Cleaning the River
The Council and 34 volunteers retrieved more than 10,000 pounds of trash and abandoned boat docks from Holter Lake, a popular reservoir along the Missouri River. The cleanup, a cooperative effort involving local cabin owner, recreators, the BLM and the Council, was the first of its kind on Holter Lake.