The Oregon Creek Placer Mine Restoration project is one of a suite of projects in the French Creek watershed designed to address basin-wide water quality and habitat issues, as well as native fishery restoration. The overall goal of the placer mine restoration project along Oregon Creek is to restore stream, wetland and riparian function to the mining-impacted reaches of Oregon Creek. To achieve this goal, stream restoration will be undertaken to increase channel sinuosity and reduce channel slope, which will result in more frequent and higher quality pool habitat for fish and provide potential spawning for westslope cutthroat trout and Arctic grayling. In addition, floodplain reconnection will expand the riparian area adjacent to the stream and promote proper stream function through time. Water quality improvements will also be achieved by reducing sediment loads from streambank and upland erosion and by providing an increased riparian buffer between the historic placer tails and the stream channel, which will reduce the potential for metals inputs to Oregon Creek.
Oregon Creek is a headwater tributary of California Creek, which flows into French Creek, and then into Deep Creek, which feeds into the Big Hole River upstream of Dickie Bridge. Oregon Creek is located approximately 12 miles southeast of Anaconda in Deer Lodge County. The project area is located in the Mount Haggin Wildlife Management Area and includes approximately 0.5 miles of Oregon Creek, extending downstream from the Highway 569 crossing to the confluence with California Creek.
This project is in development. In 2015 a DNRC Planning Grant was secured to develop a preliminary project plan, alternatives, cost estimates and request for funding. A cultural inventory was completed by GCM, inc. and a preliminary plan created by RESPEC, both completed spring 2016. A request for funding was submitted to the DNRC RDGP program for $450,000 of the needed funds.
Estimated cost to implement this project: $650,000
2016-2017: Secure Needed Funds
2018-2019: Complete final design and implement project.