Deep Creek

3.25 CFS Modular Screen

Quick Facts:

  • Location: Fortine, MT
  • Basin:Tobacco River Drainage
  • Partners: Montana FWP, BPA through Libby Mitigation Project, the irrigator (James Smith) and Koocanusa Excavating
  • Installation Date: October 2013

This Farmers Screen project addresses the following issues:


The Deep Creek diversion which supplies water to Black Lake was previously unscreened. This new two section modular Farmers Screen will ensure that resident westslope cutthroat trout, bull trout, brook trout, and rainbow trout will stay in Deep Creek.

Black Lake is used as a spawning and rearing pond for the Crystal Lakes Fish Hatchery which is a privately owned. Recently, Crystal Lakes Fish Hatchery partnered with Montana FWP to create a genetic reserve for arctic grayling and to provide a certified disease-free source of brook trout.

A new headgate and inlet pipe were installed, leading up to the new 3.25cfs modular screen. The new screen has 20 feet of straight inlet flume leading up to the two section 20’ screen.

Crystal Lakes Hatchery Manager Bob LeBlanc sent us this terrific video of the screen operating in very icy conditions just after install.

Deep Creek is a high gradient tributary to the Tobacco River which flows into Lake Koocanusa, a trans-boundary (USA-Canada) impoundment on the Kootenai River.

This diversion was previously unscreened. The new diversion structure and Farmers Screen system provides passage, fish protection, and clean, screened water to Black Lake, which in turn supplies water to the Crystal Lakes Fish Hatchery.

This project includes a re-designed fish return flume which provides a more efficient, lower maintenance method for getting fish, debris, and by-pass flows back to the stream.