Reducing Erosion Could Benefit
A New York Trout Stream
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.
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.
Resource Challenges Addressed
- Stream bank erosion
- Excessive sediment build up
- Lack of in-stream habitat
- Lack of trout habitat
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.
CLEAR CREEK HABITAT RESTORATION
Location: Freedom, N.Y.
Approximate cost: $106,211
Key partners: Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, Trout Unlimited – Western New York Chapter, Trout Unlimited – Red House Brook Chapter, and Seneca Trail Resource Conservation and Development Council.
Types of jobs created:Ecologists, biologists, excavators and truck drivers.