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PDF (3 MB) - Virginia Cooperative Extension - Virginia Tech

Virginia Cooperative Extension

publication 420-141

LANDOWNERʼS GUIDE TO

La n d ow n e r’s Gu i d e to

MANAGING Ma n a g i n g STREAMS St r e a m s in IN t h THE

e

Ea s t e r n Un i t e d Stat e s

EASTERN UNITED STATES

www.ext.vt.edu

Produced by Communications and Marketing, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences,

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2009

Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion,

age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University,

and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Mark A. McCann, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech,

Blacksburg; Alma C. Hobbs, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State, Petersburg.


Landowner's Guide to Managing Streams

in the Eastern United States

LANDOWNER’S GUIDE TO MANAGING

STREAMS IN THE EASTERN UNITED STATES

L.A. Helfrich, Extension specialist byand professor, Virginia Tech

D.L. Weigmann, director, Office of Science and Technology, State of Nevada

L.A. Helfrich, Extension Specialist and Professor, Virginia Tech

R.J. Neves, leader, Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

D. L. Weigmann, Director, Office of Science and Technology, State of Nevada

R. J. Neves, Leader, Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

College of Forestry and Wildlife Resources

Virginia Cooperative Extension

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Blacksburg, Virginia

27


Introduction

INTRODUCTION

The eastern The eastern United States United is blessed States is

blessed with an abundance with an abundance of streams. These of

streams. flowing waters These occur flowing a variety waters of

occur settings, in shapes, a variety and of sizes. settings, They range

shapes, and sizes. They range in

in character from steep-gradient,

character from steep-gradient,

swift-flowing, mountain mountain streams streams to

to flat-gradient, slow-flowing slow-flowing pasture

pasture streams. There streams. are woodland There are streams, woodland

meadow streams, streams, meadow marsh streams, streams,

marsh streams, and even urban

and even urban streams. Some are

streams. Some are coldwater

trout coldwater streams trout and streams others and are others

are warmwater bass bass streams. A single

single stream stream may support may both support sportfish, both

sportfish, with trout occupying with trout the occupying cold waters

the cold waters and bass inhabiting

the warmer waters.

and bass inhabiting the warmer

waters.

No two streams are alike,

but No two many streams share are certain alike, but problems

and many characteristics. share certain problems For example, and

all characteristics. streams are For products example, of all the

land streams they are drain, products and of their land waters

reflect streamside land management

practices, good and poor.

they drain, and their waters reflect

Much streamside can land be done management to protect

clean practices, streams good and poor. restore Much damaged

be done ones. to protect Since clean most streams

originate and restore on damaged private ones. lands, Since their

can

fate depends largely on wise

most streams originate on private

management by streamside landowners.

lands, their This fate publication depends largely provides

wise management general information by streamside and

on

management landowners. This guidelines publication to provides help

stream general information property owners and management and

their neighbors protect, improve,

guidelines to help stream property

and restore these valuable running

owners waters. and their neighbors protect,

improve, and restore these valuable

running waters.

1

1


2

Stream water quality largely depends on land use practices such as

farming, mining, and forestry in the upstream drainage basin

2


Stream Size

Streams are called brooks, branches,

creeks, STREAM cricks, forks, SIZE or runs, depending

on local Streams custom. are In Webster's called brooks, Dictionary,

branches, streams creeks, are cricks, defined forks, as or small runs,

rivers. depending How large on is a local stream custom. and how In

small Webster’s is a river? Dictionary, Apparently, streams whether are defined

as small rivers. How large is a

a watercourse is termed a stream or a

stream and how small is a river? Apparently,

whether a watercourse is

river has depended on the judgment

of termed the person a stream who first or discovered a river has and depended

it. In on this the judgment publication, of the streams person

named

are who defined first as discovered flowing waters and named that are it. In

shallow this publication, enough to streams wade are across defined and as

less flowing than 40 waters feet wide that during are normal shallow

flow; enough deeper, to wade larger across watercourses and less are than

rivers. 40 feet This wide distinction during is normal convenient flow;

but deeper, simplistic, larger since watercourses streams and are rivers. rivers

flow together, forming intercon-

This distinction is convenient but simplistic,

since streams and rivers flow

necting waterways.

together, forming interconnecting waterways.

The smallest streams are termed headwater

or The first-order smallest streams. streams They are

can termed be categorized headwater as permanent or first-order

intermittent streams. They based can on be their categorized seasonal as

flow permanent pattern. Permanent or intermittent streams based flow on

throughout their seasonal the flow year. pattern. Intermittent Permanent

streams dry flow up at throughout certain times the year. of the Intermittent

Landowners streams often dry assume up at certain that

year.

tiny times streams, of the particularly year. Landowners intermittent often

assume that tiny streams, particularly

ones, are not important. However,

intermittent ones, are not important.

they play significant roles by providing

providing clean, clear clean, water clear to larger water streams to larger

However, they play significant roles by

and streams rivers, and rivers, by supporting and by supporting valuable

sportfish valuable and sportfish wildlife. and wildlife.

Drainage Basin

If you look at the shape of a stream

on DRAINAGE a map or aerial photo, BASIN notice that

its branching If you look pattern the appears shape treeshaped

stream (dendritic). on a map or Most aerial streams photo, have no-

of a

a tice main that trunk its branching with smaller pattern connecting

tree-shaped branches (dendritic). (tributaries). Most In a streams single

appears

have a main trunk with smaller connecting

branches (tributaries). In a

stream system, each stream is a tributary

of the larger stream it joins and

single stream system, each stream is

all a tributary streams are of the tributaries larger stream of the it main joins

stem. and all streams are tributaries of the

main stem.

The land area drained by a stream is

called a drainage The land basin. area This drained is a by low a

area stream or valley is called that a collects drainage water basin. from This

a is stream. a low area Protecting or valley and that improving collects water

from usually a stream. depends Protecting on managing and im-

a

stream

activities proving in a stream the drainage usually basin. depends Obviously,

managing upstream activities landowners in the influence drainage

on

basin. Obviously, upstream landowners

influence the amount and quality

the amount and quality of water available

to those downstream. In other

of water available to those downstream.

your In other stream words, is at the your mercy stream of

words,

your is at stream the mercy neighbors, of your so stream cooperation neighbors,

so adjacent cooperation stream among property adjacent own-

among

ers stream is essential property for owners stream is protection essential

and for management.

stream protection and management.

In fact, many In fact, tiny feeder many streams tiny feeder are

essential streams spawning are essential and nursery spawning areas and

for nursery trout, areas bass, for and trout, other bass, gamefish. and other

Adult gamefish. sportfish Adult spawn sportfish in tributary spawn in

streams tributary that streams have clean that gravel have and clean

suitable gravel cover and suitable to protect cover their to young protect

their young from predators. Even the

from predators. Even the smallest tributary,

including those narrow enough

smallest tributary, including those narrow

enough to step across and those

to that step occasionally across and those dry up, that can occasionally

to dry property up, can and add benefit value fish to property and wild-

add value

and life. benefit fish and wildlife.

3

3


Running the rapids

on a free-flowing

stream is an

exciting weekend

escape from the

hectic workday

pressures of modern

life.

How HOW Much MUCH Is IS Your YOUR Stream

STREAM Worth? WORTH ?

Streams are valuable assets. They offer riparian (streamside)

Streams landowners are valuable generous, assets. long-term They benefits offer riparian in return

(streamside) for minimal landowners care expense. generous, Some long-term benefits benefits are financial,

return providing for minimal income care either and expense. in cash returns Some benefits or dollar

in

are savings. financial, Other providing benefits income are less either conspicuous, in cash returns but equally or

dollar

valuable.

savings.

Here

Other

are some

benefits

major

are less

benefits

conspicuous,

provided

but

by

equally valuable. Here are some major benefits provided

freshwater streams.

by freshwater streams.

Agricultural and domestic benefits:

Agricultural and domestic benefits:

Cropland irrigation

Cropland irrigation

Livestock Livestock watering watering

Bottomland Bottomland timber timber production production

Fire Fire protection protection

Drinking, bathing, cleaning water

Groundwater Drinking, supplies bathing, cleaning water

Wastewater Groundwater processing supplies

Energy Wastewater production processing (hydropower)

Streamside

Energy

real

production

estate

(hydropower)

Streamside real estate

Fish farming

Fish farming

Fish and wildlife benefits:

Sportfish Fish and and wildlife shellfish benefits: habitat

Wildlife Sportfish habitat and shellfish habitat

Endangered Wildlife species habitat habitat

Recreational Endangered and species scenic benefits: habitat

Fishing, hunting, trapping

Swimming, Recreational boating, and camping scenic benefits:

Tranquillity, Fishing, scenic hunting, beauty trapping

Nature

Swimming,

study, education

boating, camping

Tranquillity, scenic beauty

Nature study, education

Small coldwater streams provide ideal sportfish habitat,

producing trophy trout such as the “lunker” brown trout

harvested here.

4

4


Large, secretive

animals such as

wild turkey, deer,

bear, and bobcats

find refuge and

food along

streamside

bottomlands.

Wood ducks and other

waterfowl use streams for

nesting and brooding, as well

as travel routes during spring

and fall migration.

Streamsides are vital

breeding, nursing,

nesting, and feeding

areas for young and

adult wild animals.

Stream fishing is a major outdoor

delight pursued by millions of

anglers in the eastern United

States.

5

5


STREAM Stream

IMPROVEMENT

Improvement

METHODS

Methods

At one time, stream improvement was practiced

only on the estates of rich landown-

At one time, stream improvement was

practiced only on the estates of rich landowners

or by exclusive fishing clubs. Now, it is

ers or by exclusive fishing clubs. Now, it is

widely widely used used by by small small landholders, landholders, farmers, farmers,

and anglers who recognize the importance of of

clean streams and quality sportfishing. The

two main objectives of stream improvement

are to protect water quality and to enhance

sportfish habitat.

Successful Successful stream stream improvement requires

careful planning. Before Before starting starting a project, a project, take

the

take

following

the following

steps:

steps:

(1) examine

(1) examine

your stream,

your

(2) determine its problems, (3) determine the

stream, (2) determine its problems, (3) determine

the cause of the problem, (4) select the

cause of the problem, (4) select the appropriate

control methods, (5) consult professionals

for appropriate advice and control help, methods, and (6)(5) determine consult professionals

of for effort advice and and money help, needed and (6) to deter-

com-

the

amount

plete mine and the amount maintain of the effort project. and money needed

to complete and maintain the project.

6

6


Protect PROTECT Streambank

STREAMBANK

Plants

PLANTS

The easiest, most effective way to protect your

The easiest, most effective way to protect

stream is to maintain a strip of plants along the bank.

your stream is to maintain a strip of plants along

Lush

the bank.

growths

Lush

of

growths

grasses,

of

shrubs,

grasses,

and

shrubs,

certain

and

trees

are certain essential trees to are the essential health to of the a stream. health of Some a stream. of the

valuable Some of benefits the valuable to streamside benefits to landowners streamside afforded landowners

shoreland afforded plants by include shoreland streambank plants support include and

by

stabilization, streambank support erosion and stabilization, flood control, erosion water and quality

flood protection, control, scenic water beauty, quality and protection, wildlife habitat. scenic

beauty, and wildlife habitat.

The roots of native grasses, low shrubs, aquatic

plants, The and certain roots of trees native bind grasses, soil to streambanks low shrubs, and

reduce aquatic erosion. plants, Plant and roots certain deflect trees the bind cutting soil action to

streambanks and reduce erosion. Plant roots deflect

the cutting action of swift-flowing stormwater,

of swift-flowing stormwater, expanding surface ice,

and strong winds. Abundant streamside vegetation

expanding surface ice, and strong winds. Abundant

streamside

slows runoff, catches

vegetation

silt, softens

slows

the

runoff,

impact

catches

of rain,

and silt, helps softens prevent the impact the undercutting of rain, and and helps collapsing preventof

streambanks.

the undercutting and collapsing of streambanks.

Shoreland Shoreland plants plants protect protect water water quality quality by absorbinsorbing

and filtering and filtering out pollutants out pollutants such such as fertilizers, as fertil-

by ab-

animal izers, animal wastes, wastes, and toxic and chemicals. toxic chemicals. Plant Plant life along life

the along edges the of edges the stream of the also stream provides also provides food and food shelter

and for shelter fish and for fish wildlife. and wildlife. Streamside Streamside habitats habitats

are usually richer are in richer the number in the number and types and of types wildlife of

usually

wildlife than upland habitats. Wildlife foods

than upland habitats. Wildlife foods (seeds, buds,

(seeds, buds, fruits, berries, and nuts) are found in

fruits, berries, and nuts) are found in abundance

abundance along streamsides. Streambank plants

along

preserve

streamsides.

scenic beauty

Streambank

and

plants

property

preserve

values.

scenic

Streams beauty hidden and property by concrete values. walls, Streams culverts, hidden andby

concrete ditches are walls, generally culverts, unnoticed, and ditches unappreciated, are generally

unnoticed, and often neglected. unappreciated, and often neglected.

Try to Try avoid to avoid any any activity activity that that will will kill kill or or injure injure

streambank plants. plants. It's best It’s to best limit to activities limit activities such as

streambank

plowing, such as plowing, livestock livestock grazing, grazing, housing housing development, development,

construction, road construction, dumping, filling, dumping, and applying filling,

road

herbicides and applying near herbicides streambanks. near streambanks.

7

7


Streambank

STREAMBANK

Planting PLANTING

Guidelines

GUIDELINES

Although any rooted plant growing

Although any rooted plant

on the streambank is helpful, some

growing on the streambank is helpful,

plants

some plants

give

give

better

better

protection

protection

than

than

others. Grasses and and low low shrubs shrubs are pre-

are

preferred because because they they develop develop relatively relatively

deep, strong, deep, strong, fibrous fibrous root systems root systems

bind that streambank bind streambank soils. They soils. also They are

that

also less are costly less costly and become and become established established

faster faster than trees. than trees.

The grasses The grasses and shrubs and shrubs listed in listed Table in

1 Table are the 1 are best the to best use to for use streamside for streamside

plantings. They can tolerate a

plantings. They can tolerate a wide

wide range of temperature and moisture

conditions; even survive under

range of temperature and moisture

conditions;

water for extended

even survive

periods.

under

They

water

are

for easy extended to establish periods. and They maintain, are easy and

to they establish provide and good maintain, ground cover. and they They

provide develop a good strong, ground tough system cover. of They roots

develop that tightly a strong, binds streambanks, tough system traps of

roots silt, and that slows tightly erosion. binds streambanks,

traps silt, Of and the slows grasses erosion. listed, reed canary

grass is widely planted for

streambank

Of the grasses

stabilization.

listed, reed

It provides

canary

year-round grass is widely support planted for banks for streambank

stabilization. of overhanging It provides streamside year-

and a

fringe

cover round for support sportfish. for banks This fast-growing, and a fringe

early of overhanging developing streamside grass grows cover in thick for

stands sportfish. that reach This heights fast-growing, of 4 to 7 early feet.

It developing can be controlled grass grows by cutting, thick but stands cannot

that tolerate reach heights livestock of 4 grazing. to 7 feet. Since It can

this grass may block flows on small

be controlled by cutting, but cannot

tolerate livestock grazing. Since

streams, avoid seeding it on streams

that are less than 4 feet wide.

this grass may block flows on small

streams, Willows avoid (Salix), seeding unlike it on other streams trees

and that woody are less shrubs, than 4 feet are wide. water-loving

plants that develop relatively deep,

strong Willows root (Salix), systems unlike in wet other soil. Many trees

types and woody of willows shrubs, grow are in water-loving

the U.S., but

most plants are that unsuitable develop for relatively streambank deep,

plantings strong root because systems they in wet grow soil. rapidly Many

and types form of willows tall, dense, grow nearly in the U.S., impenetrable

most are thickets. unsuitable Thick for streamside streambank

but

stands can block stream channels and

plantings because they grow rapidly

shade out beneficial plants.

and form tall, dense, nearly impenetrable

The

thickets.

willows

Thick

listed

streamside

in Table 1

are stands varieties can block that stream have proved channels to and be

useful shade streambank out beneficial protectors. plants. Bankers

dwarf willow is a low growing (maximum

The height willows of 6 listed feet), hardy in Table shrub 1 recommended

varieties that for have bank proved protection to be use-

on

are

small ful streambank streams (4 to protectors. 20 feet in width). Bankers

Streamco dwarf willow purpleozier is a low willow growing (basket (maximum

height is a taller of 6 plant feet), (maximum hardy shrub

willow)

height recommended of 15 feet) for used bank for protection planting on on

larger small streams (greater (4 to 20 than feet 20 in feet width). in

width). Streamco purpleozier willow (basket

willow) is a taller plant (maximum

These plants and others are available

from nurseries, can be trans-

height of 15 feet) used for planting on

planted larger from streams existing (greater stands, than or 20 started feet in

from width). cuttings. For advice on

streambank plantings, landowners

should These contact plants their and others local USDA are available Natural

from Resources nurseries, Conservation can be transplanted Service or

Cooperative from existing Extension stands, or agents. started Survival

cuttings. of streamside For advice vegetation streambank depends

from

on plantings, proper planting landowners should care until contact the

plants their local are firmly USDA established. Natural Resources Bank

shaping, Conservation weeding, Service fertilization, or Cooperative mulching,

and fencing from livestock may be

Extension agents. Survival of streamside

vegetation depends on proper

necessary.

planting and care until the plants

are firmly established. Bank shaping,

weeding, fertilization, mulching,

and fencing from livestock may be

necessary.

Table 1: Plants for streambanks

Table 1: Plants for streambanks

Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea)

Reed Canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea)

Fescue Fescue Kentucky Kentucky 31 31 (Fescua (Festuca arundinacea)

Redtop grass Redtop (Agrostis grass (Agrostis alba) alba)

Bankers dwarf willow (Salix Cotteti)

Bankers dwarf willow (Salix cotteti)

Streamco purpleozier willow (Salax (Salix purpurea)

Grey stem dogwood (Cornus racemosa)

Grey stem dogwood (Cornus racemosa)

Silky dogwood Silky dogwood (Cornus amomum)

Red stem Red dogwood stem dogwood (Cornus (Cornus stolonifera)

8

8


Fence Streamside

FENCE STREAMSIDE

Farm livestock, particularly cattle, sheep, and hogs, are If stream watering-crossing sites are necessary, carefully

If choose stream sites watering-crossing with firm bottom sites materials are necessary, (bed-rock care-

major threats to small streams. Livestock congregate along

Farm livestock, particularly cattle, sheep, and hogs,

streams are major to threats graze, drink, to small wallow, streams. and Livestock obtain relief congregate from fully if available) choose sites and with gentle, firm graded bottom slopes materials that animals (bed-rock will if

heat along and streams insects. to graze, They overgraze drink, wallow, and and trample obtain streamside relief from available) use. Gravel and lined gentle, paths graded or entrance slopes that ramps animals constructed will use. of

plants, heat and leaving insects. bare, They muddy overgraze banks and silt-choked trample streamside

Gravel wood and lined other paths materials or entrance will ramps minimize constructed streambank of wood damage.

channels. plants, leaving Livestock bare, wastes muddy (liquid banks and solid) silt-choked flushed stream off and other

Restrict

materials

upstream-downstream

will minimize streambank

animal movements

damage.

shorelands channels. Livestock or deposited wastes directly (liquid into and streams solid) contaminate flushed off Restrict upstream-downstream animal movements by using

swinging flood gates suspended from cables or string-

by using swinging flood gates suspended from cables or

shorelands or deposited directly into streams contaminate

the waters with harmful nutrients and disease-causing

the waters with harmful nutrients and disease-causing fecal

bacteria and viruses. These water quality problems can flood catching debris. flood Build debris. watering-crossing Build watering-crossing sites wide sites enough wide

ing

stringing

wire high

wire

enough

high enough

across the

across

stream

the

to

stream

avoid catching

to avoid

fecal bacteria and viruses. These water quality problems

be avoided can be by avoided fencing by farm fencing animals farm away animals from away streams. from to enough accommodate to accommodate the herd and the herd prevent and panic prevent and panic injury and to

streams.

the injury animals. to the animals.

Livestock need drinking water, but they don’t need

Livestock have unlimited need drinking access water, to the but stream they just don't to need get a to drink have of Build fences Build well fences back well from back the from streambank, the streambank, particularly particularly

at stream at bends. stream Place bends. the fence Place at the least fence 15 at feet least away 15 from feet

unlimited water. Select access specific to the stream watering just to get and a drink crossing of water. sites

Select (fords) specific for livestock, stream or watering develop and offstream crossing watering sites (fords) sites away the top from of the streambank top of the streambank (not the water's (not the edge) water’s to protect edge)

for such livestock, as tanks or or develop small ponds, offstream gravity-fed watering by sites piped such wells, as to streambank protect streambank plants and plants prevent and flood prevent damage flood to damage fencing.

springs, or stream water.

to fencing. Plant fence rows with dogwood, autumn olive,

and other wildlife food and cover vegetation.

tanks or small ponds, gravity-fed by piped wells, springs, Plant fence rows with dogwood, autumn olive, and other

or stream water.

wildlife food and cover vegetation.

9

9


10

Streambank STREAMBANK Protection

PROTECTION

Structures

STRUCTURES

Artificial

Artificial

structures

structures

(terraces,

(terraces,

rock riprap,

rock riprap,

gabions,

gabions,

and tire

or and sandbag tire or barriers) sandbag may barriers) be necessary may be necessary to support to and support protect

streambanks. and protect These streambanks. structures These supplement structures plants supplement by reinforcing

plants steep by banks reinforcing and banks steep that banks are vulnerable and banks to that flood are and vul-icnerable

swift to flood currents, and ice strong damage, winds, swift and heavy currents, wave strong action.

damage,

winds, and heavy wave action.

Natural stone is the most durable material for constructing

streambank Natural protection stone is structures. the most durable If enough material stone of for the constructing

is not streambank available, protection use a combination structures. of If enough stone and wire

right

sizes

mesh of the or right stone sizes and is not logs. available, In areas use where a combination stone is scarce of stoneand

expensive, and wire mesh sandbag or stone barriers and anchored logs. In with areas plants where will stone provide is

good scarce protection. and expensive, sandbag barriers anchored with

plants will provide good protection.

Temporary structures such as hay bales, mulches, filter fencing,

and Temporary netting can structures be used such to provide as hay bales, short term mulches, protection filter

fencing, allow vegetation and netting to become can used established. to provide Other short materials term

and

are protection not effective. and allow Concrete vegetation readily fractures to become and established. cracks. Metal

structures Other materials (steel beams are not and effective. iron pipes) Concrete will readily rust, pollute fractures stream

water, and cracks. and eventually Metal structures collapse. (steel beams and iron pipes)

will rust, pollute stream water, and eventually collapse.

Grading, Terracing, and Berming

Grading, Terracing, and Berming

Streambanks Streambanks too steep too (slopes steep (slopes greater greater than 1:1 than or 45 1:1 degrees) or 45

to degrees) support to plants support can plants be reshaped can be by reshaped grading, by bench grading, terracing,

bench or berming. terracing, Limit or berming. this method Limit to this small method areas, use to small erosion

control areas, use measures, erosion and control reseed measures, immediately. and reseed immediately.

Bench terraces (stair steps), cut across the face of a streambank,

Bench break long, terraces steep (stair banks, steps), slow cut runoff across flow, the and face provide of a

gradual streambank, slopes break for revegetating. long, steep banks, Bench slow terraces runoff are flow, not andflat.

Construct provide gradual them to slopes tilt inward for revegetating. toward the bank Bench to terraces intercept areand

divert not flat. runoff Construct water them along to the tilt bench inward rather toward than the downslope. bank to

Bench intercept terraces and divert can also runoff be ditched water along to reroute the bench drainage. rather The

width than downslope. of each bench Bench and terraces the number can also of be benches ditched necessary to reroute

drainage.

depends on site

The

characteristics.

width of each

Consult

bench and

professionals

the number

for

of benches necessary depends on site characteristics. Consult

professionals for design advice.

design advice.

Earth berms and diversion ditches built along the top of eroding

streambanks Earth berms intercept and diversion and divert ditches runoff built water along from the eroding top

streambanks. of eroding streambanks A combination intercept ditch and berm divert (a runoff low mound water of

earth

from

excavated

eroding streambanks.

from the ditch)

A combination

provides a simple,

ditch

effective

and berm

way

(a low mound of earth excavated from the ditch) provides

to protect streambanks. Locate the ends of the ditch and berm

a simple, effective way to protect streambanks. Locate the

where

ends of

water

the ditch

can flow

and

into

berm

the

where

stream

water

without

can

causing

flow into

erosion.

the

stream without causing erosion.

Rock Riprap Barriers

Rock Rock riprap Riprap is the Barriers most common and effective way to stabilize

eroding Rock streambanks, riprap is the especially most common at stream and bends. effective Rock way riprap to

stabilize eroding streambanks, especially at stream bends.

is a lining or pile of natural stone placed along streambanks.

Rock riprap is a lining or pile of natural stone placed along

Construction of riprap barriers is simple. A load of rocks is

streambanks. Construction of riprap barriers is simple. A

clumped load of rocks over the is clumped streambank over and the rearranged streambank by and hand. rearranged

large by hand. rocks Avoid jutting leaving out into large the rocks stream jutting channel out because into

Avoid

leaving

they stream create counter channel currents because (eddy they currents) create counter that cause currents washouts.

(eddy On currents) severely that eroding cause washouts. steep streambanks, On severely blanket erodingthe

10

Fence livestock watering watering-crossing and sites sites to restrict to restrict

upstream or downstream animal move-

upstream

or downstream animal movements. Carefully select

sites with a firm bottom and gentle slopes.

ments. Carefully select sites with a firm bottom

and gentle slopes.

Terraces, earth earth berms, berms, and diversion and diversion ditches can ditches be used can to be

stabilize streambanks and reroute silty runoff waters away from

used to stablilize streambanks and reroute silty

streams.

runoff waters away from streams.

Rock riprap (natural (natural rock) placed rock) on placed steep on streambanks steep adds

support, slows erosion, and protects water quality.

streambanks adds support, slows erosion, and

protects water quality.


Gabions (rock-filled (rock-filled wire cages) wire cages) are useful are bank useful protectors bankon

steep slopes.

protectors on steep slopes.

Used-tires, stacked stacked in stair-step in stairstep fashion, fashion, provide good provide erosion

protection in areas where natural rock is not available.

good erosion protection in areas where natural

rock is not available.

Sand bags bags similar similar to those to those used in used flood in emergencies flood emergencies

provide temporary streambank erosion protec-

provide

temporary streambank erosion protection.

tion.

entire steep face streambanks, of the slope blanket with rocks. the entire Where face erosion of the slope is mild, withit

may rocks. be necessary Where erosion to rock is only mild, the it bottom may be of necessary the bank. to rock

only the bottom of the bank.

On most streambanks, a riprap cover 1 or 2 feet thick should

be adequate, On most but streambanks, use a thicker a layer riprap (2 cover to 3 feet 1 or at 2 feet the thick base)

to should stop rocks be adequate, from sliding but down use a the thicker bank. layer Use (2 a to mixture 3 feet at of

rocks the ranging base) to in stop size rocks from from small sliding (10 pounders) down the to bank. large Use (100 a

pounders). mixture of This rocks allows ranging for the in size openings from between small (10 large pounders) stones

to fill to large with smaller (100 pounders). ones, providing This allows an interlocking for the openings pattern between

large undercutting. stones to fill with smaller ones, providing an

and

preventing

interlocking pattern and preventing undercutting.

On banks composed of fine silt and sand, use a fabric filter or

plastic mesh On banks sheeting composed between of fine the rock silt and and sand, the bank use a to fabric prevent

filter slumpage or plastic and mesh the loss sheeting of fine between materials. the Filter rock and sheeting the

materials bank to that prevent hold fine slumpage soils in and place, the yet loss still of allow fine materials. for water

seepage, Filter sheeting are commercially materials available. that hold fine soils in place, yet

still allow for water seepage, are commercially available.

Gabions Gabions (Rock-filled (Rock-filled Wire Wire Cages) Cages)

A gabion A gabion is a rock-filled is a rock-filled wire wire cage, cage, box, box, or or basket. Gabionbions

are used are used on steep on steep banks banks to hold to hold rocks rocks in place in place or at or sites at

Ga-

where sites rocks where of rocks the right of the sizes right are sizes not available. are not available. Gabions Gabions

made can easily be made by using easily corrosion by using resistant corrosion (galvanized) resistant (gal-

steel

can

be

wire. vanized) Each cage steel wire. should Each be secured cage should to the be bank secured or tied to the to bank other

cages

or tied

and

to

filled

other

with

cages

rocks

and

that

filled

are

with

larger

rocks

than

that

the

are

wire

larger

mesh

than the wire mesh openings. A less costly method of holding

rock riprap in place is to lay wire mesh over the stone.

openings. A less costly method of holding rock riprap in place

is

Stake

to lay

the

wire

wire

mesh

covering

over the

into

stone.

the streambank

Stake the wire

by driving

covering

in

into bent the pipes streambank or bars. by driving in bent pipes or bars.

Gabions and wire mesh structures are functional, but not very

attractive.

Gabions

To preserve

and wire

the

mesh

natural

structures

scenic

are

beauty

functional,

of streamsides,

many landowners cover these structures with soil and

but

not very attractive. To preserve the natural scenic beauty

of streamsides, many landowners cover these structures

plant

with

grasses

soil and

on

plant

top.

grasses on top.

Used-tire Barriers

Old auto Old and auto truck and tires truck can tires serve can as serve streambank as streambank protectors. protectors.

Tires are placed

Tires are

flat

placed

on the

flat

bank

on

surface

the bank

to

surface

form a blanket

to form

or

a

blanket or are stacked in stairstep fashion against the bank.

are stacked in stairstep fashion against the bank. To assure

To assure that the tire blanket stays in place, tie all tires

that the tire blanket stays in place, tie all tires together by

together by weaving strong cables through them and firmly

weaving anchor strong the cables cables to the through bank. them and firmly anchor the

cables to the bank.

When constructing When constructing the stacked-tire the stacked-tire barrier, barrier, shape the shape face the of

face of the bank so that the tires can be laid flat, one on top

the bank so that the tires can be laid flat, one on top of another,

of another, forming a stairstep (not a wall). Each upper tire

forming a stairstep (not a wall). Each upper tire should overlap

set two back tires about under a foot it and from each the row row should underneath. be set back To reduce about

should overlap two tires under it and each row should be

a foot flotation from and the row prolong underneath. bank protection, To reduce holes flotation can and be cut, prolong

drilled, bank protection, or burnt into holes the can tires. be Packing cut, drilled, the tires or burnt with into stone, the

tires. sand-cement Packing the mixtures tires with (15% stone, cement, sand-cement 85% sand, mixtures by weight), (15%

cement, or soil 85% will sand, add stability. by weight), or soil will add stability.

Plant grasses

Plant grasses

or willows

or willows

inside soil-packed

inside soil-packed

tires to

tires

anchor

to

them. anchor Once them. established, Once established, the foliage the will foliage hide will the hide tires. theA

used-tire tires. A barrier used-tire is barrier a good, is inexpensive a good, inexpensive alternative alternative to rock

riprap to rock where riprap natural where stone natural of stone suitable of suitable size and size quantity and quantity

is

is

unavailable. unavailable.

11

11


Junk piles and refuse dumps are worthless as bank protectors.

They increase erosion, are unsightly, and pollute stream waters

12

Sandbag Barriers

Sandbags, widely used during flood control emergencies,

may Sandbag be used Barriers to protect eroding streambanks. Bags can be

made of Sandbags, burlap, plastic, widely and used other during materials. flood control Used emergencies,

obtained may be from used local to protect feed eroding and seed streambanks. or hardware Bags stores. can

bags can

be

Most

be made

bags

of

deteriorate

burlap, plastic,

rapidly,

and

but

other

filling

materials.

them with

Used

a sand

bags

can be obtained from local feed and seed or hardware stores.

cement mixture can provide lasting protection.

Most bags deteriorate rapidly, but filling them with a sand

cement mixture can provide lasting protection.

Build sandbag barriers in a stairstep pattern (not a wall) by

setting

Build

each

sandbag

successive

barriers

row back

in a

about

stairstep

one

pattern

half of a

(not

bag

a

width wall) from by setting the row each underneath. successive Each row upper back bag about should one half overlap

a bag the two width bags from underneath the row (like underneath. laying bricks). Each Place upper rock bag

of

riprap should at overlap the base the of two the bags to underneath prevent undercutting. (like laying On bricks). the

complete Place rock barrier, riprap slope at the steepness base of the should bags not to prevent exceed undercutting.

vertical On for the 1 complete foot horizontal). barrier, Sandbag slope steepness barriers should gener-

1:1 (1

foot

ally not are exceed more 1:1 costly (1 foot and vertical less effective for 1 foot than horizontal). rock riprap. Sandbag

barriers generally are more costly and less effective than

rock riprap.

No Vertical Walls and Bulkheads

Avoid No Vertical building Walls vertical and walls Bulkheads or bulkheads along streambanks.

Avoid

Straight

building

walls

vertical

(breakwalls,

walls

wavewalls,

or bulkheads

retaining

along

streambanks. Straight walls (breakwalls, wavewalls, retaining

walls) are expensive to construct and maintain; they

walls) are expensive to construct and maintain; they are

unsightly

are unsightly

and

and

generally

generally

short-lived.

short-lived.

Walls

Walls

tend

tend

to divert

to divert

current energy energy downward, downward, resulting resulting in undermining undermining current and

12

eventual collapse. Water that penetrates cracks in a wall or

breaks over a wall frequently erodes the bank behind the

wall. A tumbled mass of rock riprap covered with plants

and provides eventual greater collapse. protection, Water that a penetrates more natural cracks appearance, in a wall

or and breaks more cover a for wall sportfish. frequently erodes the bank behind

the wall. A tumbled mass of rock riprap covered with plants

provides greater protection, a more natural appearance, and

more No Streambank cover for sportfish. Junk Piles

Streamside junk piles are ugly and ineffective bank protectors.

Streambank They seldom Junk stay Piles in place during floods and fre-

No

quently Streamside contain junk substances piles are that ugly cause and ineffective water pollution. bank

protectors. Junk piles They shade seldom out beneficial stay in grasses place during and increase floods bank and

frequently erosion. Refuse contain sliding substances into that streambeds cause water may pollution. block the

Junk

flow

piles

and cause

shade

flooding.

out beneficial grasses and increase bank

erosion. Refuse sliding into streambeds may block the flow

and cause flooding.

POOLS AND RIFFLES

Avoid dumping used construction materials (broken pavement,

Natural asphalt streams slabs, concrete are composed blocks, of bricks, two dominant rotting lumber,

types: scrap pools metal),

Avoid dumping used construction materials (broken habitat

pavement, asphalt and old

slabs, riffles. household

concrete A pool appliances is blocks, an area bricks,

(refrigerators,

of deep, rotting slow

water; lumber, stoves), a scrap riffle automobiles, metal), is an area old and of household shallow, other types swift appliances of water. refuse (refrigeratorsbage

riffles stoves), on eroding are automobiles, important streambanks. to and fish other and It's impractical aquatic types of life. refuse to Pools sort and pro-

the

Both and pools gar-

and

vide garbage types cover, and on sizes eroding shelter, of and streambanks. these resting materials areas It’s cluttering for impractical sportfish. a steep to Riffles sort bank the reaerate

types and impossible and the sizes water, of to produce firmly these materials anchor most of them cluttering to fishes’ the bank. a food, steep Garbage and bank are

used and dumps impossible as on spawning streambanks to firmly and feeding increase anchor areas. them erosion Fish to the and expend bank. their Garbage unattractiveness

energy on depreciates streambanks maintaining property increase their values. erosion positions and when their unattrac-

feeding in

considerable

dumps

riffles. tiveness Nearby depreciates pools property serve as resting values. and hiding areas.


In-Stream

Stream Habitat Flow

In-Stream Habitat

Most of the annual flow in streams is provided

by groundwater (natural spring seeps) that, in

turn, STREAM is replenished FLOW by rainwater. Since water

seeps slowly Most through of the annual the soil, flow the in surface streams water is

flowing provided in by streams groundwater can represent (natural rainwater spring

that seeps) fell that, days, in weeks, turn, is or replenished even months by ago. rainwater.

Since continuous water seeps seepage slowly through of groundwater the soil,

This

regular,

that the surface keeps streams water flowing flowing in is streams called can base represent

rainwater that fell days, weeks, or even

flow,

low flow, or minimum flow.

months ago. This regular, continuous seepage

of groundwater that keeps streams flowing is

Base flow is critical to stream life and water

called base flow, low flow, or minimum flow.

quality. Sportfish, fish-food animals, and

water plants Base require flow is critical a stable, to continuous stream life and flow

of water water, quality. particularly Sportfish, during fish-food dry animals, periods.

Stream and water water plants quality require depends a stable, on continuous the amount

of flow water of water, available particularly to dilute during and flush dry periods. out toxic

chemicals Stream water and quality other depends pollutants. on the During amount low

flows, of water pollutants available to are dilute more and concentrated flush out toxic and

persistent. chemicals and Streams other can pollutants. clean themselves During lowif

they flows, have pollutants good base are more flows concentrated and don't receive and

persistent. Streams can clean themselves if

too much pollution.

they have good base flows and don’t receive

too much pollution.

Water Velocity

WATER VELOCITY

The velocity or speed of water in a stream,

commonly The velocity expressed or in speed feet per of second, water is in the a

distance stream, commonly it travels during expressed an interval feet per of time. second,

is the distance it travels during an interval

of time. Water velocity is regulated by

Water velocity is regulated by gravity (steepness

of the slope), friction (roughness of the

gravity (steepness of the slope), friction

bottom (roughness and banks), of the bottom and water and depth. banks), Although and

shallow, water depth. steep Although gradient shallow, streams steep appear gradient

streams swiftly, appear a deep to be river flowing having swiftly, the same a

to be

flowing

slope deep river and having roughness the same will slope have and the roughness

will Moreover, have the greater speed velocity. decreases Moreover, vertically

greater

velocity.

with speed depth, decreases so water vertically flows with much depth, faster so on water

flows than much the faster bottom. on the surface than the

the

surface

bottom.

Landowners can estimate stream water velocity

by tossing Landowners orange can estimate into the stream water

velocity by tossing an orange into the

and

measuring the time required for it to travel a

stream and measuring the time required for it

known distance. For example, if the orange

to travel a known distance. For example, if the

floats orange 100 floats feet 100 downstream feet downstream in 11 in seconds 11 seconds

water the water velocity velocity is about is about 9 feet 9 feet per per second. sec-

the

Although ond. Although any object any object that floats that floats will will provide pro-vide

a estimate rough estimate of water of velocity, water velocity, the orange-

the

orange-float works well works because well because oranges oranges have have about

rough

the about same the density same density as water, as water, and float and float about at

the about same the rate same as rate water as moves. water moves.

13

13


Reduced flows during dry periods can

concentrate pollutants and kill fish

14

Good sportfish streams display an alternating pattern of ing and cover. The smaller, fine bottom materials (silt and

pools and riffles. Pools and riffles generally occur at a distance

of pools of 5 and to 7 riffles. times Pools the width and of riffles a stream. generally For occur example, at a generally they smother are eggs unsuitable and young for spawning fish. sites since they

clay) generally are unsuitable for spawning sites since

Good sportfish streams display an alternating pattern and cover. The smaller, fine bottom materials (silt and clay)

in distance a stream of 10 5 to feet 7 times wide, the a pool width or of riffle a stream. usually For will example, occur smother eggs and young fish.

every in a stream 50 to 70 10 feet. An wide, equal a pool amount or riffle of both usually habitats will (poolriffle

every ratio 50 to of 701:1) feet. is An considered equal amount optimum of both for habitats sportfish. (pool-

Water Temperature

occur

WATER TEMPERATURE

riffle ratio of 1:1) is considered optimum for sportfish. Water temperature governs most of the physical, chemical,

and biological processes that occur in streams. The

Water temperature governs most of the physical,

Streambeds

chemical, and biological processes that occur in streams.

types of aquatic life inhabiting streams; the timing of fish

The types of aquatic life inhabiting streams; the timing of

The STREAMBEDS

streambed is the foundation of the stream and its fish reproduction, reproduction, spawning, spawning, and and migration; migration; animal animal growth growth and

banks. The Many streambed characteristics the foundation (channel of the stream shape, width, and its and development development rates; rates; concentrations concentrations of dissolved of dissolved gases; gases; and

depth, banks. and Many fish stream community) characteristics will vary (channel markedly shape, depending width, and decay decay rates rates are are directly directly influenced influenced by by water water temperature. temperature.

All aquatic All aquatic animals animals have have an an optimum water water temperature tempera-

on depth, streambed and fish materials. community) Streambeds will vary are markedly formed depending

on streambed scouring and materials. sedimentation. Streambeds If are the formed cutting by force two ture range, range, above above and and below below which which they they become become stressed, stressed, and

by two

forces:

of forces: running scouring water and is directed sedimentation. downward, If the the cutting bed will force be of and at extreme at extreme temperatures, die. die.

running water is directed downward, the bed will be

scoured out until a resistant layer (bedrock) is reached.

scoured out until a resistant layer (bedrock) is reached. Alternatively,

if the gradient (slope) flattens and flow slows, in when air are highest and ground-

Alternatively, if the gradient (slope) flattens and flow Maximum Maximum stream stream water water temperatures usually usually occur occur in

slows, sediment sediment loads are loads deposited are deposited on the on bottom. the bottom. August when air temperatures are highest and groundwawater

inflows inflows are are reduced. reduced. Landowners can improve (cool)

stream water temperatures and reduce thermal stress on

Streambeds Streambeds are composed are composed of a variety of a variety of materials, of materials, collectively

collectively called called bottom bottom sediments. sediments. Bottom Bottom sediments sediments range sportfish by (1) removing dams and log jams, (2) unclog-

stream water temperatures and reduce thermal stress on

sportfish by (1) removing dams and log jams, (2) unclogging

spring seeps, (3) decreasing channel width and increasinging

depth, spring (4) seeps, protecting (3) decreasing streamsides channel from width livestock, and increas-

and

in range size in from size large from boulders large boulders and rocks, and rocks, through through gravel gravel (1/4

to (1/4 3 inches to 3 inches diameter) in to fine to fine sand, sand, silt, silt, and and clay par-

(5) ing planting depth, (4) grasses, protecting shrubs, streamsides and trees. Free-flowing, from livestock, deep, and

ticles. Of these, gravel-sized and larger particles are most

narrow (5) planting streams grasses, that receive shrubs, abundant, and trees. regular Free-flowing, groundwater

narrow inflows streams typically that have receive stable abundant, temperature regular ranges. groundwa-

deep,

important to to sportfish. Nearly all all stream fish require clean

gravel to spawn and larger cobbles or or boulders for for resting restter

inflows typically have stable temperature ranges.

14


In-Stream IN-STREAM Habitat HABITAT

Improvement IMPROVEMENT Structures

STRUCTURES

In-stream structures are built to extend out into the stream

channel. They are intended to protect eroding streambanks

and create In-stream hiding, structures resting, and are built feeding to extend places out for sportfish. into the

By stream modifying channel. the They speed are and intended direction of to stream protect flow, eroding these

structures streambanks can and be used create to hiding, flush out resting, bottom and sediments, feeding places deepen

the for channel, sportfish. form By pools modifying or riffles, the speed and provide and direction living space of

for

stream

sportfish.

flow, these structures can be used to flush out bottom

sediments, deepen the channel, form pools or riffles,

The

and provide

design,

living

construction,

space for

and

sportfish.

placement of in-stream

devices require technical expertise. These structures must

The design, construction, and placement of in-stream

be

devices

built

require

to survive

technical

floods,

expertise.

expanding

These

ice,

structures

and log

must

jams.

Poorly be built built to survive or placed floods, structures expanding can increase ice, and bank log erosion jams.

and Poorly clog built streams. or placed structures can increase bank erosion

and clog streams.

A pair of gabions (rock-filled wire cages), here used as wing

deflectors, divert the current away from the banks, narrow and

deepen the channel, and increase flow

Before attempting to use in-stream structures, seek expert

advice from your district fisheries biologist or soil conservationist.

Before Also, attempting check federal to use and in-stream state legal structures, restrictions. seek

A expert federal advice permit from available your district from fisheries the U.S. biologist Army Corps soil of

conservationist. Also, check federal and state legal restrictions.

A federal permit available from the U.S. Army Corps

Engineers is required to place material below the ordinary

high-water mark on navigable streams with flows greater

of Engineers is required to place material below the ordinary

5 high-water cubic feet per mark second. on navigable Other permits streams are with required flows by

than

state greater agencies than 5 before cubic feet constructing per second. deflectors, Other permits dams, or are similaquired

structures by state across agencies or in streams. before constructing deflectors,

re-

dams, or similar structures across or in streams.

Wing Deflectors

Wing Wing deflectors Deflectors are triangular shaped wedges of

rock built to jut out from the bank into the channel.

Wing deflectors are triangular shaped

They point downstream at an angle to direct currents

wedges of rock built to jut out from the bank into

away from eroding banks toward midstream and to

the channel. They point downstream at an angle

increase to direct current currents speed. away Water from eroding moving downstream

banks toward

off midstream the deflector and at to an increase increased current velocity. speed. This

slides

fast-flowing Water moving current downstream cuts and slides cleans off a deep, the deflector

at channel increased that increases velocity. sportfish This fast-flowing habitat and

narrow,

center

protection current cuts from and predators. cleans a deep, narrow, center

channel that increases sportfish habitat and protection

from are predators. built singly to protect an eroding

Deflectors

bank, or in pairs to narrow the stream channel. They

are placed Deflectors in a series, are built positioned singly alternately, to protect on anone

bank

eroding

and

bank,

then the

or in

other

pairs

to

to

keep

narrow

the current

the stream

sweeping

swiftly in a natural winding pattern. In nature,

channel. They are placed in a series, positioned

alternately, on one bank and then the other to

pools and riffles normally are repeated every 5 to

keep the current sweeping swiftly in a natural

7 winding channel pattern. widths; In therefore, nature, pools the distance and riffles between normally

are should repeated be every at least 5 seven to 7 channel times the widths; average

deflectors

stream therefore, width. the distance between deflectors should

be at least seven times the average stream width.

Deflectors may be constructed entirely of rock,

or rock Deflectors and wire may combinations be constructed (gabions), entirely or of rock

framed rock, or with rock logs. and wire Build combinations deflectors in (gabions), a triangular

or shape, rock framed with the with tip logs. pointing Build deflectors downstream in aand

angling triangular out shape, toward with the the channel. tip pointing Adjust the downstream

and

angle

(usually about

angling

30 degrees

out toward

between

the

the

channel.

bank and

Adjust

the angle (usually about 30 degrees between

the

deflector) to guide the current into mid-channel at a

the bank and the deflector) to guide the current

suitable speed.

into mid-channel at a suitable speed.

Check the path of the current by throwing a float into

Check the path of the current by throwing

the a float water into upstream the water from upstream the deflector. from the If deflector.

the If the opposite float hits bank, the modify opposite the bank, size or modify angle of

the float

hits

the the deflector size angle until the of the float deflector remains until in mid-channel. the float

Deflectors remains in built mid-channel. at extreme Deflectors angle (pointed built at an more

across extreme than angle down (pointed stream) more too across long than (more down than

one stream) half or the too channel long (more width) than may one cause half the erosion chan-onel

opposite width) may bank cause or catch erosion floating on debris. the opposite Improp-

the

erly

bank

built

or catch

deflectors

floating

receive

debris.

greater

Improperly

water pressure

built

deflectors receive greater water pressure and

and may be damaged by floods.

may be damaged by floods.

Build deflectors low with only a few inches above

Build deflectors low with only a few inches

the water surface at the offshore tip and tapered

above the water surface at the offshore tip and

upward tapered toward upward the toward bank. the Design bank. deflector Design deflector

height high flows to allow to pass high over flows the to top pass of over the the struc-

height to

allow

ture. top of Remember, the structure. deflectors Remember, should deflectors guide should the current,

guide not the dam current, it! not dam it!

Avoid Avoid building building deflectors deflectors in riffles. in Preserve riffles. natural Preserve

areas natural from riffle any type areas of from disturbance any type or of construc-

dis-

riffle

tion. turbance They or are construction. important sportfish They are food important production

and sportfish spawning food areas. production and spawning areas.

15

15


Pool Pool Formers

A low A waterfall low waterfall (plunge, (plunge, or chute) is or

an chute) in-stream is an structure in-stream built structure to narrow built

the to channel, narrow increase the channel, streamflow, increase and

funnel streamflow, water over and funnel a midstream water ledge. over a

midstream ledge. Its purpose is to create

a plunge pool or hole immediately

Its purpose is to create a plunge pool

or hole immediately downstream

downstream from the fall. Low waterfalls

the are fall. used Low on fast-flowing waterfalls are streams used

from

on with fast-flowing limited pool streams habitat with to create limited an

pool alternating habitat series to create of pools an alternating and riffles.

series Plunge of pools pools are and ideal riffles. resting and Plunge hiding

places are for ideal sportfish. resting and hiding

pools

places for sportfish.

A low waterfall is built to form a

pool below but not above it. A long

pool

A low

of

waterfall

slow water

is built

above

to form

the fall

a pool

will

fill below in with but not silt and above destroy it. A long fish habitat.

of slow Alternatively, water above a plunge the fall pool will or hole fill

pool

below in with the silt fall and will destroy be flushed fish with habitat. fast,

aerated Alternatively, water, a plunge providing pool or good hole

sportfish below the habitat. fall will be flushed with

fast, aerated water, providing good

sportfish Low habitat. waterfalls can be constructed

of rock, rock and wire (gabions),

Low waterfalls or rock and can logs be (Hewitt constructed ramp). of

The Hewitt ramp, a ski- jump shaped

rock, rock and wire (gabions), or rock

structure constructed of stone and logs

and logs (Hewitt ramp). The Hewitt

firmly anchored to streambanks, is a

good

ramp,

pool

a skiformer.

jump

A

shaped

pair of wing

structure

deflectors

constructed can of be stone used and to narrow logs firmly the

channel anchored and to streambanks, direct the flow is to a good midstream.

pool former. A pair of wing deflectors

can be used to narrow the channel

and Build direct these the structures flow to midstream. low, only

about a foot or two above the water

surface, Build these to allow structures for the free low, movement only about

of a fish foot upstream or two above and downstream. the water surface, The

height to allow of the for falls the free and width movement of the of

opening fish upstream should and be adjusted downstream. to permit The

a height continuous of the flow falls of and water width over of the the

crest opening during should periods be adjusted of low flow. to permit As a

general rule, the width of the opening

a continuous flow of water over the

should approximate that of the narrowest

natural width of the stream.

crest during periods of low flow. As a

general rule, the width of the opening

Fish should Cover approximate and that of the narrowest

natural width of the stream.

16

16

A pool former (low waterfall) is used to improve

sportfish habitat by aerating the water and creating a

downstream plunge pool.


Example of foot and forest

road bridges providing

overhead cover and access

for anglers.

An example of a submerged

boulder for cover.

Example of a half-log fish cover.

Example of a submerged

tree top to provide cover.

Shelter

In some streams, sportfish populations

are limited by the amount of available

Shelter cover and shelter (submerged

boulders, In some logs, streams, tree roots, sportfish undercut populations

and are limited overhanging by the vegetation). amount of

banks,

Fish available use these cover protective and shelter areas to (submerged

from boulders, predators, logs, catch tree food roots, items un-

rest,

hide

drifting dercut banks, in the and swirling overhanging currents vegetation).

around Fish use submerged these protective structures, ar-

that

occur

eas to rest, hide from predators, catch

and avoid territorial conflicts. Large

food items drifting in the swirling currents

that occur around submerged

sportfish often select a sheltered site

as

structures,

their territory

and avoid

from

territorial

which they

conflicts.

Large other sportfish adult fish. often select a

exclude

sheltered site as their territory from

Sportfish which they abundance exclude other in streams adult without

sufficient cover can be increased

fish.

by adding Sportfish boulders, abundance anchoring logs in

and streams trees, without and sufficient building cover platforms can be

along increased the banks. by adding Carefully boulders, place anchoring

logs and to avoid trees, deflecting and building the plat-

cur-

these

structures

rent forms into along the the bank banks. and Carefully damming place the

these structures to avoid deflecting the

flow. In large streams, tree tops, root

current into the bank and damming

clumps, and logs can be used, provided

the flow. In large streams, tree tops,

root clumps,

they are

and

securely

logs can

anchored.

be used, provided

they cover, are as securely the name anchored. implies, A

A

half-log

is half-log a log cut cover, in half as the length name wise. implies, Completely

a log cut submerge in half the length half-log, wise. point-

Com-

is

ing pletely downstream, submerge with the half-log, the rounded, pointing

downstream, side up and with the flat, the rounded, cut side

bark

down. bark side Two up stakes and driven the flat, through cut side the

log down. into Two the stakes streambed driven provide through firm the

log into the streambed provide firm

anchorage.

anchorage.

Artificial platforms, built like small

Artificial platforms, built like

boat docks, are used to supply overhead

small boat docks, are used to supply

overhead

cover

cover

in streams

in streams

lacking

lacking

undercudercut

banks banks and and ledges. ledges. They They can can be be

un-

covered with rocks and sod to add

support and a natural appearance.

Foot and forest road bridges also provide

overhead cover for sportfish and

access for anglers.

Fish covers and shelters are designed to provide resting places for sport fish.

Adding boulders, anchoring logs and tree tops, or building streambank

platforms can improve sportfish populations that lack fish habitat.

17

17


The The Stream Killers

Man has damaged streams in many ways. Dam building,

Man has damaged streams in many ways. Dam building,

stream channeling, wetland drainage, and water

stream channeling, wetland drainage, and water

pollution are among the most widespread and destructive

threats

pollution

to small

are

streams.

among the

Countless

most widespread

streams have

and

been

destructive

threats and polluted to small by (1) streams. poor farm Countless cropland streams and have

altered

livestock been altered management and polluted practices, by (2)(1) careless poor timber farm cropland

harvesting, and livestock (3) improper management farm and practices, forest road (2) careless timber

construction, harvesting, (4) (3) unwise improper mining farm and and dredging forest operations, road construction,

(5)(4) unsound unwise streamside mining property and dredging developments. operations, and

and

(5) unsound streamside property developments.

DAMS Dams and AND Log LOG Jams JAMS

Dams, log jams, and other obstructions to flow

destroy Dams, streams. log jams, Small and dams other once obstructions used to hydropower

sawmills streams. Small and grist dams mills, once and used those to hydro-

built

to flow

destroy

power today to sawmills create and farm, grist recreation, mills, and and those flood built control

to ponds create needlessly farm, recreation, ruin miles and of flood free-flowing control

today

ponds streams. needlessly ruin miles of free-flowing streams.

Dams Dams create create a variety a variety of problems. of problems. They are They costly, are

costly, short-lived short-lived structures structures easily damaged easily damaged by floods, by

floods, winds, winds, and ice. and Dams ice. Dams can can collapse, collapse, threatening threatening

downstream

downstream

life

life

and

and

property.

property.

Owners

Owners

of a

of

dam

a dam

are

are responsible for inspecting and maintaining it.

responsible for inspecting and maintaining it. They

They may be held liable for downstream loss of life

may be held liable for downstream loss of life and

and property if their dam collapses or malfunctions.

property if their dam collapses or malfunctions.

The life expectancy of a dam depends on the

amount The life of expectancy upstream erosion, of a dam but depends even those on built the

on amount streams of upstream carrying moderate erosion, but silt even loads those eventually built

silt-in on streams with eroded carrying soil. moderate As silt accumulates silt loads eventually

silt-in with pools, eroded the water soil. As becomes silt accumulates shallow, stag-

in

in the

impounded

nant, the impounded warm, turbid, pools, and the weed-choked. water becomes shallow,

stagnant, warm, turbid, and weed-choked.

Dams eliminate stream sportfish populations.

Stream-dwelling Dams eliminate sportfish stream and sportfish the aquatic populations. insects on

which Stream-dwelling they feed require sportfish running and the water. aquatic For insects example, on

most

which

stream

they feed

sportfish

require

are gravel-riffle

running water.

spawners;

For example,

most stream sportfish are gravel-riffle spawn-

they

deposit their eggs only where the water depth, speed,

temperature, clarity, oxygen content, and bottom

ers; they deposit their eggs only where the water

types are suitable. Dams destroy spawning sites and

flowing depth, speed, water temperature, conditions essential clarity, oxygen for stream content,

and bottom Dams also types block are suitable. the free Dams movement destroy of

sportfish.

sportfish spawning to sites their and spawning flowing water and nursery conditions grounds. essential

for small stream streams sportfish. have fish Dams ladders also (fishways) block the free that

Few

provide movement passage. of sportfish to their spawning and nursery

grounds. Few small streams have fish ladders

(fishways) Dammed that or provide clogged passage. streams can be restored.

Remove old mill-pond dams, log jams, fallen trees,

and Dammed other impediments or clogged streams to flow. Cut can trees be restored. that may

fall

Remove

into or

old

across

mill-pond

streams,

dams,

but

log

leave

jams,

their

fallen

stumps

trees,

and roots undisturbed. Use hand labor, chain saws,

and other impediments to flow. Cut trees that may

and winches to avoid killing streambank grasses.

fall into or across streams, but leave their stumps

and roots Discourage undisturbed. the damming Use hand of labor, streams chain to saws, create

ponds. and winches Ponds to needed avoid killing for cropland streambank irrigation, grasses. livestock

watering, sportfishing, swimming, and other

uses, Discourage should the be constructed damming of by digging streams a to basin create on

the ponds. flood Ponds plain needed next to for the cropland stream and irrigation, piping water livestock

the watering, stream. sportfishing, swimming, and other

from

uses, should be constructed by digging a basin on

the flood plain next to the stream and piping water

from the stream.

18

18


Channeling CHANNELING and Wetland AND Drainage

WETLAND DRAINAGE

Stream channeling (stream-straightening) converts a natural

winding stream with riffles, pools, shelter, and abundant

fish and wildlife, into a straight, featureless drainage

ditch. Stream The resulting channeling ditch (stream-straightening) contains no protective converts boulders, a

ledges, natural spawning winding stream gravel, with or stream riffles, side pools, cover, shelter, and few and

sportfish

abundant

or

fish

wild

and

animals.

wildlife, into a straight, featureless drainage

ditch. The resulting ditch contains no protective boulders,

ledges, spawning gravel, or stream side cover, and

Channeling consists of using a drag line to straighten,

few sportfish or wild animals.

deepen, and clear streambeds. When natural streams are

ditched, Channeling their bottoms consists containing of using eggs a drag and line young to straighten, of sportfish,

deepen, fish-food and clear insects, streambeds. in-stream When cover, natural and critical streams spawning

ditched, gravel their are dredged bottoms out containing and piled eggs high and on the young banks. of

are

Streamside sportfish, fish-food vegetation insects, is crushed in-stream by machines cover, and or buried critical

under spawning the dredge gravel spoils, are dredged leaving out bare and muddy piled banks. high on the

banks. Streamside vegetation is crushed by machines or

As buried storm under waters the dredge concentrate spoils, in leaving the straight, bare muddy steep trench, banks.

they travel at high speed and energy, eroding the banks and

As storm waters concentrate in the straight, steep

stripping off any remaining plant cover. Erosion increases

trench, they travel at high speed and energy, eroding the

and the waters become too muddy to support life. Durinsion

dry increases seasons, and channeled the waters streams become become too muddy mud-choked to sup-

banks and stripping off any remaining plant cover. Ero-

ditches. port life. They During lack dry the seasons, water flow, channeled depth, streams and oxygen become to

sustain mud-choked sportfish. ditches. Valuable They lack gamefish the water are flow, eliminated depth, and

replaced oxygen to by sustain undesirable sportfish. species Valuable such as gamefish carp. are eliminated

and replaced by undesirable species such as carp.

So why are streams channeled? Flood protection is the

usual So excuse why given are streams for this channeled? wanton destruction. Flood protection The claim is

is the that usual ditching excuse speeds given storm for this waters wanton downstream destruction. and prevents

The

claim

overflows.

is that ditching

This

speeds

is partly

storm

true;

waters

storm

downstream

waters do shoot

and

prevents overflows. This is partly true; storm waters do

rapidly through a straight channel and are contained by the

shoot high rapidly banks (levees) through of a dredge straight spoils. channel But, and channeling are contained does

by not the prevent high banks floods, (levees) it simply of dredge moves spoils. them But, downstream, channeling

and does at such not prevent high velocity floods, that it simply flooding moves is intensified. them downstream,

solution and to flood at such control high problems velocity that is to flooding keep the is raindrops intensi-

The

fied. where The they solution fall. to flood control problems is to keep the

raindrops where they fall.

Floods are born on the land, not in streams. Floods can

Floods are born on the land, not in streams. Floods

be controlled by using good watershed management (contour

and no and till no farming, till farming, grassed waterways, grassed waterways, streambank

can be controlled by using good watershed management

(contour

streambank filter strips filter and strips plantings) and plantings) and protecting and protecting natural naturalands.

wetlands. Streamside Streamside wetlands wetlands (marshes (marshes and swamps) and swamps) have

wet-

have enormous enormous flood flood control control capacity. They They serve as as natural natural

sponges, temporarily holding holding and and storing storing flood flood waters. waters.

Unfortunately, Unfortunately, wetlands wetlands are a vanishing are a vanishing resource. resource. Drained

Drained

by stream

by

channeling,

stream channeling,

ditching,

ditching,

and water

and

diversion

water diversion

projects to create farmland, tree farms, and urban de-

projects

to create farmland, tree farms, and urban developments,

the few amount natural of stream wetlands (often remain. to one Channeling half of its original reduces

velopments, few natural wetlands remain. Channeling reduces

length), the amount lowers of the stream water (often table, to and one leaves half wetlands of its original high

and length), dry. lowers the water table, and leaves wetlands high

and dry.

Marshes and swamps, once considered wastelands,

are Marshes recognized and swamps, as important once for considered flood control, wastelands, water conservation,

recognized stream as important and ground for water flood recharge, control, water outdoor conser-

rec-

are

reation, and as prime fish and wildlife habitat. Streams and

vation, stream and ground water recharge, outdoor recreation,

and as prime fish and wildlife habitat. Streams

their associated wetlands are interrelated. Wetlands supply

much of the ground water needed to keep streams flowing.

and Conserving their associated our valuable wetlands wetlands are interrelated. is essential Wetlands to the

protection supply much of stream of the water ground quality. water needed to keep streams

flowing. Conserving our valuable wetlands is essential to

the protection of stream water quality.

Dredging destroys stream habitat

and kills sportfish, their eggs, and

aquatic insects.

Channeled, ditched streams lack the

habitat necessary to support

sportfish and wildlife.

19

19


20

Eroded ERODED Soil and SOIL Silt

AND SILT

Each year, millions of tons of fertile

topsoil, washed from "disturbed"

areas Each (freshly year, turned millions fields, of tons overgrazetile

topsoil, pasture, washed logged from forest “disturbed” lands,

of fer-

roadways, areas (freshly trails, turned and construction

fields, overgrazed

fill pasture, in and logged clog our forest streams. lands,

sites)

roadways, trails, and construction

Even "undisturbed" forest lands or

sites) fill in and clog our streams. Even

ungrazed pastures lose about 400

“undisturbed” forest lands or

pounds ungrazed per pastures acre per lose year about of rich 400

topsoil. pounds per acre per year of rich topsoil.

one wins when valuable topsoil

No

is flushed into streams. We all pay

No one wins when valuable topsoil

is flushed into streams. We all pay

higher water, sewage, and electricity

higher bills, water, as well sewage, as higher and taxes electricity for

bridge bills, as construction, well as higher taxes road for repairs, bridge

flood construction, relief, flood road control, repairs, flood and water relief,

treatment flood control, when and sediments water fill treatment stream

channels. when sediments Erosion fill of productive stream channels. farm

and Erosion forest of productive lands contributes farm and to forest the

higher lands contributes cost of food to and the lumber higher products.

It is a particularly bitter irony

cost of

food and lumber products. It is a particularly

bitter irony to realize that the

to realize that the same soil that produces

wood our products, food and when wood flushed products, into

same soil that produces our food and

when streams, flushed becomes into our streams, worst water becomes pollutant.

worst water pollutant.

our

As fine soil sediments drop to the

As fine soil sediments drop to the

stream bottom, they blanket spawning

grounds, grounds, smother smother fish fish eggs, eggs, suffocate suf-

stream bottom, they blanket spawning

focate fish-food fish-food insects, insects, bury oxygen bury oxygen produc-

producing plants, plants, and and clog clog the the gills gills of

of sportfish. Muddy Muddy waters waters block block sun-

sunlight, reducing reducing oxygen oxygen production production

the ability and the of gamefish ability of to gamefish see and cap-

to

and

see ture and prey. capture Soil sediments prey. Soil pave sediments stream

bottoms, filling in pools and riffles, and

pave stream bottoms, filling in pools

thereby reduce sportfish habitat.

and riffles, and thereby reduce sportfish

habitat. Keeping soil on the land and

Keeping out of streams soil on is one the of land the best and ways out

of

to protect

streams

water

is one

quality

of the

and

best

sportfish.

ways

It’s much easier and cheaper to keep

to protect water quality and sportfish.

soil on the land than to remove it from

streams.

It's much

Important

easier

ways

and cheaper

to control

to

keep erosion soil on include: the land than (1) protecting to remove

it streambank from streams. plants; Important (2) replanting ways to

control muddy erosion banks; (3) include: practicing (1) no-till protecting

contour streambank farming; plants; (4) using (2) replanting terraces,

and

muddy grassed banks; waterways, (3) practicing and diversion no-till

and ditches contour reduce farming; edge of (4) field using soil terraces,

(5) preventing grassed waterways, overgrazing; and (6) fencing diver-

loss;

livestock from streambanks; and (7)

sion ditches to reduce edge of field

building streambank protection structures.

soil loss; (5) preventing overgrazing;

(6) fencing livestock from streambanks;

and (7) building streambank

Soil erosion is the major threat to stream water quality and all

aquatic life. Each year, tons of soil washed away from croplands,

pastures, roadways, and construction sites clog streams and

suffocate aquatic life.

protection structures.

Fertilizers FERTILIZERS and Animal AND

ANIMAL Wastes WASTES

We intentionally We apply apply chemical chemical fer-

fertilizers and and livestock wastes to to our

fields, lawns, and gardens to grow

healthy

healthy

plants.

plants.

Fertilizers

Fertilizers

and

and

animal

animal

wastes, when kept on the land

wastes, when kept on the land and

wisely used, are valuable soil builders

that and benefit wisely landowners used, are valuable by increasing soil

plant builders production. that benefit However, landowners in streams by

they increasing cause serious plant water production. quality However,

in streams they cause serious

problems.

water Fertilizers quality problems. and animal wastes

(manure, urine, rotting feed, and other

refuse) Fertilizers from and pasturelands, animal wastes barnyards, (manure,

feedlots, urine, rotting slaughterhouses, feed, and other canneries, refuse)

and from septic pasturelands, systems are barnyards, oxygen-using feedlots,

slaughterhouses, that degrade canneries, water quality. and

substances

In septic stream systems waters are they oxygen-using decompose, substances

that

use

valuable dissolved

degrade

oxygen,

water quality.

and produce

poisonous methane, ammonia,

In

stream waters they decompose, use

and sulfur gases that kill sportfish and

other valuable water dissolved animals. oxygen, and produce

poisonous methane, ammonia,

and Stream sulfur gases waters that polluted kill sportfish with fertilizers

and other and water animal animals. wastes acquire an

unpleasant taste and foul odor, and be-

Stream waters polluted

20

with fertilizers

and animal wastes acquire an

unpleasant taste and foul odor, and

become unfit for drinking, swimming,

and sportfishing. Contaminated

come unfit for drinking, swimming,

and stream sportfishing. waters carry Contaminated

disease-causing

stream organisms waters such carry as disease-causing

fecal bacteria

organisms and viruses such down as fecal stream, bacteria infecting and

viruses healthy down herds stream, and infecting flocks, and healthy even

herds humans. and They flocks, become and even choked humans. with

They algae become blooms choked and water with weeds algae that

blooms reduce and stream water flow weeds and water that reduce clarity,

stream flow and water clarity, clog filters

and intake pipes, impair scenic

clog filters and intake pipes, impair

scenic beauty, and depreciate property

values.

beauty, and depreciate property values.

Proper Proper land land application application of fertilizers of fertilizers

and and animal animal wastes wastes will protect will protect stream

stream water quality. Avoid fertilizing

water quality. Avoid fertilizing or

or spreading manure near streams or

spreading manure near streams or

on steep slopes, particularly during

rainy on steep weather slopes, or when particularly the ground during is

frozen rainy or weather covered or with when ice the and ground snow. is

Fence frozen livestock or covered from with streambanks, ice and snow. and

locate Fence or livestock relocate feedlots, from streambanks,

barnyards,

and and winter locate pasture or away relocate from feedlots, streams

and barnyards, drainage and ditches. winter Avoid pasture overfertilizing

from streams and overgrazing. and drainage Build ditches. waste

away

storage areas (waste ponds, lagoons,

Avoid overfertilizing and overgrazing.

Build waste storage areas (waste

pits) where large herds of animals are

concentrated in a small area.

ponds, lagoons, pits) where large

herds of animals are concentrated in

a small area.


Livestock wastes contaminate stream waters with fecal

bacteria and disease causing organisms. Fencing

livestock away from streams will help protect water

quality

Limit the use of pesticides around

streams. These toxic chemicals cause fish

kills and threaten stream water quality.

Pesticides

PESTICIDES

Pesticides (insecticides and herbicides)

Pesticides (insecticides and herbicides)

are

are

poisonous

poisonous

chemicals

chemicals

that

that

pose pose a serious serious threat threat to to stream stream water water

quality, groundwater supplies, and and

aquatic life. Insecticides are widely

used by landowners to kill destructive destructive

crop crop and and forest forest insects, insects, but but they they also

also can can kill kill beneficial beneficial stream stream insects insects and

and sportfish. sportfish. Similarly, Similarly, herbicides herbicides used to

used

kill land

to kill

weeds

land

will

weeds

also

will

kill

also

oxygenproducing

water plants and reduce the

kill

oxygen-producing water plants and

food supply of aquatic animals.

reduce the food supply of aquatic

animals. Some pesticides remain in the environment

for a long time, often accumulating

pesticides up the remain food chain the and envi-

con-

Some

ronment centrating for in a animals. long time, For often example, accu-imulating

a fish eats up dead the food or dying chain insects and

concentrating sprayed with in an animals. insecticide, For the example,

and if the a fish angler eats who dead eats or dying the fish insects will

fish

sprayed become with contaminated. an insecticide, Low the doses fish of

and certain the pesticides angler who can eats cripple the fish fish, will sterilize

them, or increase their susceptibility

to diseases and parasites. More-

become contaminated. Low doses of

certain pesticides can cripple fish,

over, particular pesticides may not be

sterilize toxic alone, them, but or can increase become their deadly susceptibility

to diseases and parasites.

Moreover, particular pesticides may Used motor oil is a particularly widespread

deliberately stream pollutant. into streams Each year, and

when not be mixed toxic with alone, other but compounds can become in dumped

the deadly environment. when mixed with other compounds

in the environment.

erately into streams and poured care-

poured

millions

carelessly

of gallons

in

are

backyards,

dumped

roadside

ditches, and sewers. Motor oil,

delib-

Some basic guidelines for the safe home heating oil, and gasoline (leaking

use of pesticides include: (1) apply pesticides

only when and where neces-

up and contaminating sewers. Motor surface oil, home and ground heating

lessly

from

in

buried

backyards,

tanks)

roadside

eventually

ditches,

end

Some basic guidelines for the safe

use of pesticides include: (1) apply

sary; (2) employ those that are shortlived;

pesticides (3) avoid only applications when and where near ficult ied tanks) and costly. eventually One quart end up of contam-

oil can

waters. oil, and Removing gasoline oil (leaking from water from is bur-

dif-

streams necessary; or drainage (2) employ ditches; those (4) that use soil are contaminate inating surface 2 million and gallons ground of waters. water,

conservation short-lived; practices (3) avoid to applications

limit runoff; form Removing a slick oil covering from water more is than difficult two

and near (5) streams properly or dispose drainage of old ditches; or unused

(4) use pesticides soil conservation and their containers. practices to clean up.

acres, and costly. and cost One thousands quart of of oil dollars can contaminate

2 million gallons of water,

to

limit runoff; and (5) properly dispose form

The

a slick

best

covering

way to protect

more than

stream

two

of old or unused pesticides and their

WASTE OIL

water acres, quality and cost from thousands oil pollution of dollars (and

containers.

to to reclaim clean valuable up. energy) is to recycle

Many thousands of types of

waste oil. Take your used motor oil to

harmful chemicals exist and new ones

a local The best oil collection way to protect center stream (certain water gas

are Waste being made Oil each day. Among the

stations quality and from home oil heating pollution oil companies).

reclaim Waste valuable oil can energy) be recycled is to by recy-

re-

(and to

most familiar contaminants that endanger

streams in the eastern United

Many thousands of types of harmful

chemicals

processing it into heating oil or by refining

it into clean lubricating oil.

States are pesticides,

exist and

used

new

motor

ones are

oil,

cle waste oil. Take your used motor

fuel being oil, made gasoline, each day. and Among acids the leaching most oil to a local oil collection center

from familiar mined contaminants lands. that endanger (certain gas stations and home heating

oil companies). Waste oil can be

streams in the eastern United States

are pesticides, Used motor used oil motor is a oil, particularly

oil, gasoline, widespread and acids stream leaching pollutant. from ing oil or by refining it into clean

fuel recycled by reprocessing it into heat-

Each mined year, lands. millions of gallons are lubricating oil.

21 21


Coal silt runoff and deadly acids seeping

from underground and surface mines

pose major threats to stream water

quality and aquatic life.

22

Coal

COAL

Mine

MINE

Sediments and

SEDIMENTS AND

Acid

ACID

Coal mining can pollute streams in two

ways: Coal siltation mining and can acidification. pollute streams Coal

silt in two and mined ways: sediments siltation and enter acidification.

Coal

streams

when coal is

silt

washed

and mined

and sorted.

sediments

Erosion

from strip mined lands and from

enter streams when coal is washed

and sorted. Erosion from strip mined

huge

lands

piles

and

of

from

waste

huge

materials

piles of

extracted

waste

from materials deep extracted mines contributes from deep mines to the

silt contributes load of streams, to the silt further load of polluting streams,

stream further channels, polluting stream increasing channels, flooding, increasing

suffocating flooding, water and life. suffocating

and

water life.

Acid drainage from coal mining areas

results Acid in deadly drainage sulfuric from coal acid mining being

formed areas results when in iron deadly and sulfur sulfuric deposits acid

are being exposed formed to air, when rainwater, iron and or ground sulfur

water.

deposits

Acid

are

can

exposed

be formed

to air,

in

rainwater,

the mine

or ground water. Acid can be formed

itself or leach from spoil banks, slag

in the mine itself or leach from spoil

heaps,

banks,

and

slag

gob

heaps,

piles

and

formed

gob

during

piles

coal formed processing. during coal Forgotten processing. waste Forgotten

continue waste sites to leak can sulfuric continue acid to leak into

sites

can

streams sulfuric acid and into ground streams waters and ground for 100

years waters or for more! 100 years Despite or current more! Despite regulations,

current some regulations, streams still some run streams black with still

coal run black fines, with are stained coal fines, yellow-orange

are stained

with yellow-orange "yellow-boy" with (ferric “yellow-boy” hydroxide

associated

(ferric hydroxide

with mine

associated

acid drainage),

with

mine acid drainage), and are devoid

and are devoid of water life.

of water life.

22

Used motor oil is a widespread water

pollutant. Protect surface waters and

groundwaters by recycling waste oil

products.

An important American heritage. Free flowing streams have

rewarded countless generations with outdoor adventures.


THE STREAM WATCHER’S

GUIDE

The Stream

Watcher's

Guide

Protecting our stream and water

resources Protecting can succeed our stream only and with water the

active resources support can succeed of interested only with landownertive

and support concerned of interested citizens. landowners Too often

the ac-

stream and concerned pollution problems citizens. are Too ignored, often

go stream unnoticed pollution or unreported problems are and, ignored, therefore,

go unnoticed continue or to unreported occur in the and, same therefore,

continue streams. to occur in the same or

or

other

other streams.

Police your stream. Be aware of current

and

Police

changing

your stream.

land-use

Be aware

activities

of

current and changing land-use activities

(farming, grazing, irrigation, min-

(farming, grazing, irrigation, mining,

logging,

ing, logging,

home

home

construction,

construction,

business

business

development, dams, dams, bridges, bridges, road road

development,

improvements, sewage disposal, water water

diversion, power-line power-line spraying, spraying, util-

diversion,

ity utility crossings). Investigate Investigate water water laws.

Know laws. Know your community your community leaders, leaders, legisla-

legislators, county county officials, officials, town town council council

and board zoning members. board members.

and

zoning

Be alert Be and alert prepared and prepared to respond to respond -- know

what

— know

stream

what

pollution

stream

problems

pollution

to

problems

to look for and who to contact for

look

for and who to contact for help. Report

help. Report unusual changes in your

unusual

stream to

changes

your county,

in your

town,

stream

city,

to your

or

county, state agency town, city, officials. or state Agencies agency are officials.

listed Agencies in your telephone are listed book in your under telephone

U.S. Government, book under U.S. or your Government, state,

or county, your state, and city county, governments. and city governments.

indicators Some of indicators stream problems, of stream their prob-

Some

lems, possible their causes, possible and causes, some actions and some to

actions take appear to take in appear Table 2. in Table 2.

23

23


Table 2. Stream Watchers Guide

Observations Causes Things to Do

Muddy Streams

Fish Kills

Oil Slicks

Gravel Dredging

Muddy Water

Odor & Gas

Abnormal Flows

Foaming

Trash & Litter

Algae & Weeds

Green Water

Milky Water

Red-yellow Water

Flooding & erosion

Farming & livestock

Logging & dredging

Construction activity

Suffocation

Decaying water weeds

Temperature stress

Pesticides & toxins

Diseases & parasites

Accidental spills

Leaking storage tanks

Illegal dumping

Permits required

Illegal dredging

Soil erosion

Decaying plants

Livestock, mining

Decaying vegetation

Decaying animals

Sewage pollution

Heavy rainfall

Drought

Dams & log jams

Irrigation

Decaying plants

Detergents & soaps

Illegal dumping

Fertilizer runoff

Animal waste

Sewage pollution

Algae

Industrial dye

Sewage pollution

Decaying plants

Mining waste

Industrial waste

Algae

Investigate upstream

Use fences & filter strips

Replant vegetation

Use soil erosion barriers

Phone soil conservation agency

Investigate upstream

Estimate number of dead fish

Large fish , small, both?

Freeze a dying fish for agency

Phone fish & game agency

Investigate upstream

Estimate the area covered

Take a water sample

Phone resource agency

Note vehicle license number

Phone water resource agency

Investigate upstream

Man or natural causes

Phone water resource agency

Follow your nose to source

Man or natural causes

Report man made pollution

Phone water resource agency

Investigate upstream

Man or natural causes

Remove log jam & old dams

Phone water resource agency

Check the odor of the foam

Man-made soap has a perfume

smell

Erect anti-litter signs

Organize a stream clean up day

Phone litter control agency

Investigate upstream

Estimate area covered

Collect a plant sample

Phone soil conservation agency

Investigate upstream

Estimate area covered

Collect a water sample

Phone water resource agency

Investigate upstream

Collect a water sample

Phone water resource agency

Investigate upstream

Collect a water sample

Phone water resource agency

24

24


Acknowledgments

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Production of this publication was made possible by many

individuals who believe in protecting our nation's stream

resources

Production

and generously

of this publication

contributed

was

their

made

time,

possible

effort, information,

and advice. We deeply appreciate the assistance pro-

by

many individuals who believe in protecting our nation’s

stream resources and generously contributed their time,

vided

effort,

by

information,

Dan Stiles and

and

Duncan

advice. We

MacDonald,

deeply appreciate

U.S. Fish

the

and

Wildlife assistance Service; provided Ben by Jaco, Dan Roger Stiles and Bollanger, Duncan and MacDonald, Dick Austin,

U.S. Tennessee Fish and Valley Wildlife Authority; Service; Paul Ben Jaco, Brouha Roger and Bollanger, Monte Seehorn,

and Dick U.S. Austin, Forest Service; Tennessee Curtis Valley Sharp, Authority; Bob Franzen, Paul Brouha Keith

Salvo, and Monte John Seehorn, Oyler, Don U.S. Henry, Forest Service; Chuck Curtis Gilbert, Sharp, and Bob Larry

Robinson, Franzen, U.S.D.A. Keith Salvo, Natural John Resources Oyler, Don Conservation Henry, Chuck Service; Gilbert,

Ney, and Don Larry Orth, Robinson, Paul Angermeier, U.S.D.A. Virginia Natural Tech Resources Depart-

John

ment Conservation of Fisheries and Service; Wildlife; John Dave Ney, Whitehurst, Don Orth, John Paul Kauffman,

Angermeier,

Larry Mohn,

Virginia

Bob Wollitz,

Tech Department

and Francis

of

Satterlee,

Fisheries

Virginia

and

Wildlife; Dave Whitehurst, John Kauffman, Larry Mohn,

Department of Game and Inland Fisheries; Louis Ballenberger,

Bob Wollitz, and Francis Satterlee, Virginia Department of

Cumberland

Game and

Plateau

Inland

Planning

Fisheries;

Commission;

Louis Ballenberger,

Tom Wiseman,

Forest Cumberland Landowner Plateau Magazine; Planning Byron Commission; Prough and Tom Jerry Wiseman, Larson,

U.S. Forest Geological Landowner Survey; Magazine; Larry Claggett Byron Prough and Jim and McEvoy, Jerry

Wisconsin Larson, U.S. Department Geological of Survey; Natural Larry Resources; Claggett Lory and Hobson, Jim

Virginia McEvoy, Department Wisconsin Department of Mines, Minerals of Natural and Resources; Energy; Chester Lory

McConnell, Hobson, Virginia The Wildlife Department Management of Mines, Institute; Minerals Jerry and Lewis, Energy;

Virginia Chester Department McConnell, of The Natural Wildlife Resources; Management Dave Insti-

Wise,

West

Pennsylvania tute; Jerry Lewis, Scenic West Rivers Virginia Program; Department Al Cobrin, of Natural Grumman Resources;

Boats Inc.;

Dave

Lorice

Wise,

Beall,

Pennsylvania

U.S. Army Corps

Scenic

of

Rivers

Engineers;

Program;

John

Al Cobrin, Grumman Boats Inc.; Lorice Beall, U.S. Army

Herwald, Virginia Department of Parks and Recreation; Mel

Corps of Engineers; John Herwald, Virginia Department

Thomas,

of Parks

Virginia

and Recreation;

Department

Mel Thomas,

of Highways;

Virginia

Stephen

Department

Burrik,

Sportsman of Highways; Specialty Stephen Company, Burrik, Youngwood, Sportsman Specialty Pennsylvania. Company,

Youngwood, Pennsylvania.

Photos by Steve Croy, U.S. Forest Service; Creed Taylor, Virginia

Tech; Photos Beth by Steve Maynor, Croy, Southern U.S. Forest Living Service; Magazine; Creed Taylor,

Virginia Abingdon, Tech; Beth Virginia; Maynor, Tim Southern Cox, Living Norton, Magazine; Virginia;

Doug

Patterson,

Luther Doug Goldman, Patterson, Abingdon, U.S. Fish and Virginia; Wildlife Tim Service; Cox, Norton, H. Foster, Virginia;

Luther Scenic Goldman, Rivers U.S. Program; Fish and Tim Wildlife McCabe, Service; U.S.D.A. H.

Pennsylvania

Natural Foster, Pennsylvania Resources Conservation Scenic Rivers Service; Program; and Tim the McCabe, authors.

Illustrations U.S.D.A. Natural by D. Resources Bryan Stone Conservation III, South Service; Carolina and Wildlife the

and

authors.

Marine

Illustrations

Resources

by

Department;

D. Bryan Stone

Creed

III, South

Taylor,

Carolina

Virginia

Wildlife and Marine Resources Department; Creed Taylor,

Tech.

Virginia Tech.

Special Thanks to the Virginia Department of Forestry for

Special Thanks to the Virginia Department of Forestry

providing

for providing

funds

funds

for printing

for printing

the second

the second

edition.

edition.

25


26

This is a revision of Extension Bulletin 420-141, of the same title, by L.A.

Helfrich, D.C. Weigmann, R.J. Neves, and P.T. Bromley, 1986

Reviewed by Michelle Davis, research associate, Fisheries and Wildlife

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