From the inception of the trout stream it was clear that Spillway Creek needed help. Although a fantastic freestone-style stream it left much to be desired in the way of deeper holding water for the trout. We soon realized that the stocked trout were used to a certain depth of water and would move up or down the stream until they found comfortable water. At first, Jesse King, Paul Balkenbush, and James Vincent threw a log across a pool to see what would happen. After a few attempts, they got the log to hold the water back enough to make a deeper pool. Low and behold, the trout held.
Through the years, the ODWC got a little better at placing the logs and added some more pools to Spillway Creek. It was really turning into something special.
Along came the flood of 2009 – thanks to our marvelous USACE (Corp. of Engineers) – releasing 9000cfs of water down a creek that usually ran at 65cfs and it completely scoured Spillway Creek down to bedrock, blew out the footbridges, and destroyed the road bridge just upstream of the Cold Hole.
After the emergency repairs were taken care of in the Evening Hole, our thoughts turned to Spillway Creek. Tom Atwood and Patrick Waters scouted sites and Jay Barfield showed up with logs and his 40 foot track hoe. The new logs are embedded 4 feet into each bank and bolted down to the bedrock. They shouldn’t go anywhere for a long time.
The thirteen new conservation pools are the highlight of Spillway Creek. Although it’s been six years there are still signs of Jay’s track hoe. But the woods are slowly reclaiming the land and it won’t be much longer and this will just be a story for us old-timers. Spillway Creek is on it’s way to looking as if it was always this way.