Muddy Creek


Approximately 42 miles long
Drains approximately 314 square miles (200,000 acres)

Land use:1/3 dry cropland, 1/3 range, and 1/3 irrigated lands

Flows: Original flows were approximately 30 cfs, going dry by late summer.
In 1960s flows in Muddy Creek had reached approximately 600 cfs during irrigation season
Present flows are approximately 250 cfs, primarily return flows from 50,000 acres of Greenfields Irrigation District and irrigation waste.

Erosion: Sediment load from Muddy Creek rated at average of 200,000 tons in 1990s annually that dumped into Sun and Missouri Rivers.
The sediment rate, through multi-stakeholder collaboration of stream work and return flow reduction, now has the sediment load below 28,000 tons annually – an 80% reduction.
Muddy Creek makes up only 17% of Sun River basin but contributes over 80% of sediment load.

Erosion control measures & goals:
Stabilize the stream bed with grade control structures
Stabilize stream banks with bank barbs
Reduce return flows into Muddy Creek

Primary players:
Greenfields Irrigation District, Muddy Creek landowners, and Medicine River Canoe Club; Teton & Cascade Conservation Districts, Bureau of Reclamation, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Department of Environmental Quality,Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Department of Natural Resources & Conservation, and United States Geological Survey including many other state and local government entities, groups and interested parties.