Lyman Creek is a small, limestone spring fed tributary of Bridger Creek, originating from the southern end of the Bridger Mountains. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks surveyed the creek in 2016 and characterized it as having 'excellent spawning gravels and abundant food resources' for trout and that 'Lyman Creek is a spawning tributary and nursery stream for both rainbow trout and brown trout residing in Bridger Creek or the East Gallatin. This stream is clearly an important component of the larger Bridger Creek ecosystem.'
As my wife Siri wrote in an October 15, 2017 letter to the editor of the Bozeman Chronicle, the City of Bozeman is planning to expand its water consumption at the head of Lyman Creek, which threatens to destroy the Lyman Creek fishery.
We have met with the City several times to express our concerns, and have proposed a solution to protect the fishery. In continuing to research the City's water rights and current and planned infrastructure, we now understand that the City is actually misappropriating water, and has been for at least a decade. In addition to diverting more than the allowed volume pursuant to its water rights, the City now diverts ground water, though its water right is limited to surface water. And the City has installed further diversion facilities without filing a change application with the State of Montana Department of Natural Resource Conservation (DNRC), and has refused to consider any downstream implications, to either the fishery or downstream water rights, of its current plans to expand its usage. As such, we have been left with no choice but to file a complaint with the DNRC regarding the City's usage of its water rights, which you may review at the link below:
If you would like more information, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome any ideas and support as we work to save this creek.