Goat and Meadow Creeks

Ensuring ample water and healthy habitat for the Salmon River's salmon and steelhead

In 2017, Western Rivers Conservancy purchased Goat Falls Ranch in Idaho's Sawtooth Valley with the goal of returning crucially needed water to Goat and Meadow Creeks, two vitally important salmon spawning and rearing tributaries of the Salmon River. Photo by Kirk Anderson.

Goat and Meadow Creeks historically contained some of the highest density salmon spawning and rearing habitat in the Columbia River basin. Currently, portions of both streams are de-watered by withdrawals many years. WRC's goal is to dedicate the ranch’s water in-stream during the driest months, which will ensure the creeks flow year-round once again. This will be a tremendous benefit to fish and wildlife. Photo by Kirk Anderson.

In order to dedicate the ranch’s water in-stream during late-summer months, when flows are lowest and fish need that water the most, WRC is partnering with the Idaho Water Resources Board. If successful, the project will be Idaho’s first permanent in-stream water dedication project and will prove essential to satisfying the goals set forth in the Snake River Water Rights Act of 2004. Photo by Kirk Anderson.

Goat Falls Ranch spans 369 acres, just southwest of Stanley, Idaho. The Alpine Way Trail passes near the property and accesses several scenic alpine lakes, as well as Goat Creek Falls, Idaho’s tallest waterfall. Once we have dedicated the water in-stream, WRC will convey the lands to the Sawtooth National Forest to be managed as part of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Photo by Kirk Anderson.

Snow melt from the Sawtooth Mountains, visible west of the ranch, sustain the tiny headwater streams of the Salmon River. Photo by Kirk Anderson.

Goat and Meadow Creeks are low-gradient streams that provide perfect rearing habitat for salmon and steelhead. WRC's efforts at Goat Falls Ranch will enable restoration of habitat within both of these important streams. Photo by Kirk Anderson.