Prickly Pear Creek Flow Restoration

Prickly Pear Creek, a tributary to the Missouri River, flows from the Elkhorn Mountains north to the Helena Valley before entering Lake Helena. Prickly Pear Creek had gone dry over the past century as a result of increased irrigation needs. An agreement was established to ensure natural flows were restored to the dewatered areas of the creek.

Today, this project provides enough water for Prickly Pear Creek to maintain connectivity throughout the irrigation season—for the first time leaving natural flow in Prickly Pear Creek during the late summer season. The project restores approximately two river miles of additional useable habitat for fish and wildlife.

* Project supports voluntary transactions to change, reduce or stop water use – either temporarily or permanently – to protect or restore water for environmental benefit


Near Helena, MT

Start Up Date:


Project Benefits:

Enhancing Recreation & Economic Benefits

Securing Water for Communities & Food Production

Water Quality Improvement

Wildlife & Habitat Protection

Project Type:

Flow Restoration Transaction *


Funding Needed

Project Partner

Prickly Pear Water Users Association