Contact Us

Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission

1-877 ID RANGE (437-2643)
E-mail Us

Ranchers restore fish habitat in Pahsimeroi Valley with help from multiple agencies

Ellis, ID

Rancher Jim Martiny remembers his grandmother talking about the loud noise made by salmon spawning in the creek next to their ranch. Legend had it that Native Americans had speared salmon in the area as well. Clearly, Big Springs Creek had a strong history of supporting strong fish populations.

"She said it sounded like horses crossing the creek, there were so many of them," said Jim Martiny, a fourth-generation rancher in the Pahsimeroi Valley.

For the last 100 years, however, Big Springs Creek (also known as Patterson/Big Springs Creek) has been dried up in drought years during spawning season because ranchers diverted water (as per decreed water rights) to raise hay and other crops. After years of creative work, the Custer Soil & Water Conservation District and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, among other agencies, have worked with ranchers to restore water flows to Big Springs Creek.

Read More