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N. Idaho Group to Clear Old Dam for Steelhead

flickr.com, qmnonic

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — To spawn in the west fork of Idaho’s Little Bear Creek, federally-protected wild steelhead trout must swim 500 miles from the Pacific Ocean, running a hazardous gauntlet that includes hungry sea lions and eager angler’s lures. But once they arrive in Troy, a little logging town where Idaho’s rolling Palouse Hills meet the mountains, a 93-year-old concrete dam blocks all but the strongest from reaching the stream’s headwaters. The Dutch Flat Dam, originally a city drinking water source, hasn’t even been used since 1926, when silt choked the creek. This summer, farmers, town officials and biologists have banded together to demolish the roughly 10-foot-high barrier and restore the creek to a more-natural state — all to give steelhead a better shot at producing Idaho’s next generation of oceangoing rainbow trout.

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