Spillway Creek Repairs

The flood of 2009 removed a number of habitat structures from the Spillway Creek section of the Lower Mountain Fork River and changed the benthic topography of the river significantly. Since the flood Spillway Creek has been a bedrock dominant stream and very little pool habitat remained.

Throughout the summer of 2010 we developed a plan to improve the habitat within Spillway Creek by reconstructing conservation pools along the stream. We added 12 new pools to the stream utilizing logs provided by the Pushmataha Wildlife Management Area and with the assistance of the Corp. of Engineers, the Lower Mountain Fork River Foundation, Oklahoma Department of Tourism, Martin Marietta Materials, and Warren Cat.

The pools were constructed by laying a log perpendicular to the stream and burying it as far underground on either side of the stream as possible. Once the logs set the grade we back filled the pool with large cobble to create habitat for macro-invertebrates. We also added boulder clusters in the pool to create overhead cover for resting trout. As a result of the structures that were implemented, the water level increased in the pools which allowed water to rise up to the vegetation that was overhanging the stream and inundate the undercut features of the bank, which in turn created more beneficial habitat for trout. A small but noticeable reduction in stream speed also assists with wade fishing. Prior to enhancement the fast moving shallow water racing through Spillway Creek, along with the slippery nature of the substrate made for extremely difficult wading.