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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

Initial Data Collected for a Restoration Project on the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge

Region 3, January 2, 2013
Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge Biologist Eric Dunton pulls the acoustic Doppler profiler across Spaulding Drain to collect preliminary data for a wetland restoration project on a sunny December day.
Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge Biologist Eric Dunton pulls the acoustic Doppler profiler across Spaulding Drain to collect preliminary data for a wetland restoration project on a sunny December day. - Photo Credit: n/a

In early December, Alpena Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (FWCO) biologist Joseph Gerbyshak assisted Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) biologists Eric Dunton and Michelle Vander Haar with collecting preliminary data needed for a restoration project on Shiawassee NWR. Gerbyshak operated Alpena FWCO’s RiverSurveyor, an acoustic Doppler profiler (ADP). The ADP unit is mounted on a small boat and pulled across the river perpendicular to the flow. Along the transect, the ADP measures velocities throughout the water column, collects bathymetry data, and calculates discharge. The data will be used by engineers to design water control structures for the restoration project.

 

The restoration project will restore a more natural flow regime to refuge wetlands by installing water control structures in the banks of the Spaulding Drain. Currently water is managed in wetlands adjacent to the Spaulding Drain via spillways and pumps located on the banks of the drain. The restoration project will consist of installing water control structures, giving refuge staff increased management capabilities. The structures will allow peak flow from the Spaulding Drain into Ferguson Bayou (former Flint River) and managed wetlands. This, more natural option, is better than the alternative of using expensive, hydraulic pumps to manage the water in the wetlands. The increased control of water throughout refuge wetlands will improve habitat quality primarily for waterfowl, but other terrestrial and aquatic species should benefit as well. Refuge biologists are excited to get this project underway and hope to initiate construction during 2013.

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