Monday, April 23, 2007

The 2007 Summer Season at Silver Creek

It is an early spring at the Silver Creek Preserve—the sandhill cranes are coming back a couple at a time and the mayfly hatches have already begun. Rainbow trout are moving upstream to spawn and the snow has long since melted. As the summer approaches, we look forward to another amazing season, full of bird sightings, fish stories and beautiful sunrises. These are some just of the wonders The Nature Conservancy hopes to preserve for future generations. We are grateful to all our partners in conservation, to all of the landowners who have contributed conservation protection agreements, and to everyone who values the natural world and its many wonders. In the seasons and years to come we hope to continue our protection work while building stronger relationships in the community. Feel free to contact us at any time for information about our work, for help with your projects, volunteer information, or any other questions you may have.

We hope to see you this spring and summer!

Update on 2007 Projects:

NEW!!! Real Time Gauge-
You will soon be able to log onto the computer and find out stream flow information for Silver
Creek. We have commissioned the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to install a real-time water gauge at the sportsman’s access that will measure Silver Creek flows and temperatures. This information will be immediately available on line and will be complete early in the summer.
NEW!!! Weather site-
Check the weather before visiting the creek! The Silver Creek weather site is nearly complete. Until then, you can still check www. (site PICI for Picabo) for weather updates every hour!!
Kilpatrick Pond feasibility study-
This winter, The Nature Conservancy initiated an investigation of Kilpatrick Pond and the pond’s temperature and sediment issues. Gillilan & Associates of Bozeman, MT. helped us to develop restoration alternatives focused on enhancing the ecological attributes of the creek. The report is available on or by calling the Silver Creek office.
Macroinvertibrate (bugs) study-
Nick Whitacker of the University of Idaho will be completing his master’s thesis this spring. Nick was looking at insect populations throughout the Silver Creek system and how they were affected by the 2006 flood.
Fish and macroinvertibrate sampling-
The Idaho Department Fish and Game as well as the USGS will be doing fish and macroinvertibrate sampling this year. They are on a three-year rotation and will be shocking fish both during the day and at night to gather population information. Let us know if you want to help.
Upland Restoration-
Several projects will focus on restoring upland areas where weeds have taken over, as well as restoring agricultural lands to native vegetation. The areas will be treated for weeds and then seeded with a mixture of native shrubs, grasses and forbes. We will begin with 25 acres near the office this spring, and the project will continue for several years. We hope to enhance the bird habitat as well as enhance the wildlife corridor between Stalker Creek and the Picabo Hills.
We are continually learning from past projects, practices, and strategies. Monitoring is one of our most important learning tools, so we will be continuing the monitoring of conservation projects, water quality, and wildlife that have been conducted for the past several years. Let us know if you are interested in helping or would like information on how to set up a monitoring protocol for your private lands.
New Zealand Mud Snail Update-
Chris James from the University of Idaho has been working on his master’s thesis for the past two years, investigating the mudnails in Silver Creek, including their populations, distributions, and impacts. For a CD of the completed thesis or a two-page summary, please contact the preserve office.

Opening Day Party- Come join us to celebrate the launch of another fabulous summer season! Open house and barbecue at the visitor center, 3:30 – 7 pm on May 26th
A Day at Silver Creek- The preserve staff will host ”A Day at Silver Creek” on July 28th , an all-day event that will include bird watching, fly tying, a nature walk, and a barbecue.
Weed Night - In collaboration with Blaine County, the preserve staff will host an evening to learn about noxious weeds, invasive species, and different methods of control. Working together, we can develop a plan for invasive species control throughout the valley, June 13th
Natural History Walks - Natural history walks will take place every other Saturday throughout the summer. Please call for a schedule or check on-line at
‘A Watershed Event- the Silver Creek Symposium’- TNC will be holding the second Silver Creek Symposium this fall. Details will be announced. Save the date!! Oct. 27th
Visitor Center- The visitor center will be open daily from 8:30- 1:30, May 26- Sept 28.
Volunteering- We always welcome volunteers, for the day or week or hour. Please contact us if you are interested.
Information- You can always find information about Silver Creek and The Nature Conservancy at In addition,, has a wealth of information about Silver Creek. Compiling historic information about Silver Creek into a useable and accessible format is an ongoing process, so if you have specific questions, feel free to contact the Silver Creek office (788-7910).

The preserve is fully staffed this year. Come by to meet the staff any time or give us a call if you are interested in joining the team!

● Trish Klahr, Watershed Manager
● Dayna Gross, Preserve Manager
● Keri York, Preserve Assistant
● Andy Pelsma, Intern
● Avery McKenzie, Intern
● Ruth Douglas, Frank Hayes, Jerry and Cheryl Jeffery—our full-time volunteers.

We look forward to seeing you out here this year!!!
Contact information:
P.O. Box 624
Picabo, Idaho 83348
(208) 788-7910

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