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Elbow Coulee, Phase 3, (2,100 LF), the stream channel in this reach was previously degraded from intensive cattle grazing, an altered flow hydrograph, a trout barrier (undersized, over-steepened culvert) and land previously only managed for agriculture. Streambanks were degraded and actively eroding, the floodplain was disconnected from high flow events and the streambed was eutrophic and lacking an adequate riffle/ pool sequence. Scoped, surveyed, designed, permitted and managed this project that is on-going. Project includes a 2,100 LF channel re-alignment, bio-engineered streambanks and the entire length with improved riffle grade control and riffle/ pool sequencing. A fish friendly culvert was added in the new channel alignment while the original culvert was left in place as a high-flow floodplain friendly conveyance. In addition, a trout under scour streambank treatment was used at the high-flow channel confluence with the main channel. Since the new stream channel alignment was shorter than the original channel, a stream qualification tool assessment was required during the Army Corps permitting process.

Project type

Stream Restoration, channel re-alignment, fish passage


2019 to 2020


Teton County, Montana

Elbow Coulee, Phase 3, stream restoration, channel re-alignment

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