We can’t say for sure that restoration will solve dewatering. Climate change and over 100 years of man-made change are challenging to overcome. What we do know is that it will help! There is enough water coming out of Gold Creek Pond year-round to make it all the way down to the resevoir. Althought this doesn’t necessarily translate to year-round flow for the creek, it will make a difference. Restoration of all or part of the pond will reestablish the groundwater table so that water isn’t being pulled out of the creek to the pond. This will allow more water to remain in Gold Creek, which will keep it wet more often and for longer periods of time!
In addition, restoration will also address issues in Gold Creek. Instream restoration work will re-establish a more natural gradiant and provide much needed habitat for bull trout. We can achieve these goals through actions like putting large wood back into the stream, creating side channels and narrowing the main creek channels. By taking a holistic approach and restoring the groundwater table and the stream, we will improve habitat conditions even when dewatering occurs. With such vulnerable populations of bull trout, it’s critical we do what we can to limit this issue while we can.