Sherlock Creek before restoration

Sherlock Creek after restoration

Status: Complete


The Sherlock Creek stream restoration site is in the Idaho Panhandle National Forests in the headwaters of the St. Joe River near the Idaho-Montana divide, southwest of Superior, Montana.


Sherlock Creek is home to westslope cutthroat trout, bull trout, and other aquatic life. Placer mining damaged more than 20 acres of stream and floodplain habitats in the Sherlock Creek watershed. The trustees funded the project as part of the 2007 Interim Restoration Plan.

Restoration Completed:

Sherlock Creek restoration efforts focused on rebuilding and enhancing more than one mile of channelized stream and tributary routes. Total floodplain reconstruction was needed in many areas to improve the site’s long-term hydrologic stability. In 2007, 86 pieces of derelict equipment and machinery parts, including multiple bulldozers and a large dredge, were removed from the floodplain. Additionally, nearly 100 tons of contaminated (hydrocarbon) soils and trash were removed from the site. 12 acres of floodplain area was restored with logs and root wads and approximately 4,000 feet of new stream channel was constructed. This included a significant amount of vegetation planting. The old stream channel underwent recontouring and revegetation. These efforts had positive results:

  • created a stable stream channel and floodplain
  • reduced sediment entering the stream channel
  • established a native vegetation community
  • created pond habitat for wetlands-dependent species
  • improved instream fish habitat
  • Benefits:

    The restoration work at this site improved riparian resources, surface waters, and fish habitat for species including westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout.


    Idaho Panhandle National Forests
    St. Joe Ranger District
    222 South 7th St., Suite #1
    St. Maries, ID 83861-1847
    *Attention Fisheries Biologist


  • USDA Forest Service
  • Partners:

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
  • University of Idaho
  • North Idaho Fly Casters
  • Basin Map Wetland Restoration Project Projects Moon Creek Project Affected Environment Pine Creek Project About Us