The Clear Creek Aquatic Habitat Condition Assessment and Fish Population Monitoring report and associated data collection has been a partnership effort between the Nez Perce – Clearwater National Forests and the Clearwater Basin Collaborative under contract with Stillwater Sciences. The Clear Creek monitoring project was developed by the Selway-Middle Fork CFLRP Monitoring Advisory Committee, a third party group consisting of participants from the Clearwater Basin Collaborative, the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests and the Northern Region, the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Northwest Research Stations, the University of Idaho, and local members of the community. The purpose of the project is to provide an inventory of habitat conditions and document fish distribution and relative abundance in the Clear Creek watershed as a baseline for comparison to future surveys. The Clear Creek Assessment will provide the baseline for documenting any stream condition effects, both positive and negative, of the Clear Creek Integrated Restoration Project both in the short and long-term. Ultimately, information learned can be used to help improve the development and design of similar projects on the Forests.
Due to the support of the Idaho Soil and Water Conservation District, the project was extended to document aquatic conditions and fish distribution and relative abundance in the portion of Clear Creek that flows through private lands, referred to as Lower Clear Creek in the Assessment. This information is very valuable; however, it must be noted that permission to conduct the surveys on private lands was only granted within limited sections of Lower Clear Creek; thus, the data may not be representative of the entire reach.
The National Forests and the CBC have a strong commitment to both short and long-term monitoring and will continue similar efforts in Clear Creek and other areas.