Mainstream Resources P.O. Box 96 Auburn, MI 48611 989-662-2240 phone 989-662-6850 fax Email: email@example.com
The Pere Marquette Watershed Council, a 501(c)3, non profit conservation organization received a $750,000 grant from the Great Lakes Fishery Trust in 1998 in order to affect habitat improvements in the Big South Branch Pere Marquette River watershed. The overarching project goal was to: "increase spawning and recruitment opportunities for salmonids, adding to the naturally reproduced population in Lake Michigan".
The Watershed Council contracted with Mainstream Resources to manage and implement the five-year project. A project advisory committee was comprised of representatives of the US Forest Service, Michigan DNR Fisheries Division and Natural Resources Conservation Service. An interdisciplinary team assembled by Mainstream Resources surveyed the Big South Branch watershed during the summer of 1998 and presented their findings in a report entitled "Comprehensive Surface Resource Assessment: Big South Branch Pere Marquette River" (CSRA).
The assessment report identified diminished groundwater inflow, flashy stream flows and abnormally high sand bedload as priority challenges in the Big South Branch watershed. The consultant team and advisory committee agreed that the stabilization of eroding stream banks within the upper Big South branch watershed, together with sediment removal measures and the introduction of coarse substrates, would result in the re-establishment of normal pool-gravel bar sequencing, channel integrity and diverse instream habitat typified by clean gravel gravel bars, increased pool depths and the retention of large woody debris in treatment areas.
The final report and appendices from the five-year demonstration project can be downloaded from our download page.
Below are a few pictures of various aspects of the project.
Gravel Bar Construction
Big South Branch Pere Marquette River
A total of seven spawning riffles (gravel bars) were constructed throughout the Big South Branch subwatershed from 1999-2001. Pre-construction bottom sediments in these streams were comprised mainly of sand and very little or no trout or salmonid reproduction was historically recorded at these locations prior to gravel bar construction. However, after construction, trout and salmon spawning activity was significantly higher.
Cedar Creek was the most productive gravel bar. Trout and salmon historically spawned at this locations, but not in the numbers which were recorded after the construction of the artificial gravel bar.
Ruby Creek historically produced rainbow, brown, brook trout as well as Chinook and coho salmon. A gravel bar was constructed and gravel was supplemented at this location to enhance spawning opportunities for salmonids at this site. All species of trout and salmon were observed in great numbers at this location during our surveys.
Bank Stabilization Measures
In the Big South Branch Pere Marquette River one of the major problems in some reaches is sedimentation due to erosion. Sediment eroding off of exposed banks is treatable and can reduce sediment inputs significantly.
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