WESPEN Online Order Form print this page
US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

Preliminary Work Completed on Little Wolf Creek Restoration Project

Region 3, November 16, 2012
The three culverts at this road-stream crossing on Little Wolf Creek will be replaced with a bridge that will allow for aquatic organism passage, restore stream function and reduce thermal pollution.
The three culverts at this road-stream crossing on Little Wolf Creek will be replaced with a bridge that will allow for aquatic organism passage, restore stream function and reduce thermal pollution. - Photo Credit: n/a

In late October 2012, biologists Andrea Ania and Joseph Gerbyshak completed preliminary work on Little Wolf Creek in preparation for a stream restoration project on private property. The restoration project will consist of replacing three undersized culverts at a road-stream crossing with a bridge and stabilizing the new banks with field stone. Preliminary work entailed discussing construction logistics and environmentally conscious construction methods with the contractor at the project site. After meeting with the contractor, survey data was collected to be used for a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) joint permit application. The application package will be submitted this winter in order to obtain the permit prior to ground breaking, which is anticipated for the summer of 2013.

 

Stream restoration projects like this are important for high quality, cold-water systems such as Little Wolf Creek for many reasons. The multiple, undersized culverts currently on Little Wolf Creek are constricting stream flow, creating ponding above the crossing and a scour pool below, which increases thermal pollution and interrupts stream function. Due to the constriction of stream flow, water velocities increase, creating a barrier for aquatic organism passage; this decreases the amount of available habitat and fragments populations. Little Wolf Creek is a designated Trout Stream for the state of Michigan and brook trout, a native species to Michigan, are one of the many species that benefit from the reconnection of habitats. The new bridge will allow for the stream to adjust to a natural width and slope, which will provide aquatic organism passage, restore stream function and reduce thermal pollution.

Contact Info: Joseph Gerbyshak, 989-356-5102 ext. 1015, joseph_gerbyshak@fws.gov