Reducing erosion could benefit a New York trout stream

Project Summary Stabilizing eroding stream banks and improving fish passage in New York’s Clear Creek could improve the trout stream by reducing the amount of sediment washing into the waterway. The project is part of a growing effort to help New York reclaim its heritage as a state teeming with healthy trout streams.

 

Project name: Clear Creek habitat restoration project.

Location: Freedom, N.Y.

Before the restoration project, Clear Creek was a languid stream that was being suffocated by sediment from eroding stream banks. Photo from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Before the restoration project, Clear Creek was a languid stream that was being suffocated by sediment from eroding stream banks. Photo from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Description: Brook trout historically lived in rivers and streams across New York, but their distribution and abundance were severely reduced by competition from other species, the loss of fish habitat, and the fragmentation of rivers.  In Clear Creek, excess stream channel erosion and sediment inputs, in-stream barriers, elevated water temperatures and competition from non-native fish species restricted brook trout to a few tributaries in the watershed. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other organizations used a combination of approaches to restore 1,200 linear feet of in-stream habitat and re-establish fish passage over a sheet-pile grade control structure, which reconnected six miles of trout habitat in Clear Creek.

Approximate cost of project: $106,211.

Resource challenges addressed: Stream bank erosion and sedimentation, the loss of in-stream habitat and deep pools that trout favor.

Key partners (public and private): U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, Trout Unlimited – Western New York Chapter, Trout Unlimited – Red House Brook Chapter, Seneca Trail Resource Conservation and Development Council and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Reducing stream bank erosion and installing rocky habitat has made the lower reaches of Clear Creek suitable for brook trout and rainbow trout. Photo from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Reducing stream bank erosion and installing rocky habitat has made the lower reaches of Clear Creek suitable for brook trout and rainbow trout. Photo from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Types of jobs created: Ecologists, biologists, excavators and truck drivers.

Results and accomplishments: The project begins to restore prime habitat in a section of stream where trout were once abundant by restoring natural stream function.The New York Department of Environmental Conservation maintains 5.5 miles of easement along Clear Creek, along the project site, to support recreational fishing. An additional 1,200 linear feet of habitat will be restored immediately downstream of the completed project during summer 2012.

Web site: http://1.usa.gov/zelDR8

Originally Published: January 20, 2012

One Response to Reducing erosion could benefit a New York trout stream

  1. rudy says:

    I’m glad to see your site and some of the projects you’ve got going on. My concerns are, how can we know if NYS fish are safe to eat? Also, why is every public beach in Erie county directly next to a sewage treatment plant and its outlet? Lastly, why is it legal to build all along the shore of Lake Erie when we need the trees and wetlands to clean the water that runs into the lake? Shouldn’t building and clearing be limited? Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *