Bears Bluff National Fish Hatchery
Southeast Region

 

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Restoring Aquatic Habitat in the Santee-Cooper System, SC

Water willow, Justicia Americana

Water willow is a native freshwater plant which provides benefits to many aquatic species. Water willow has a complex network of stems and roots underwater while the stalks and leaves grow out of the water providing ideal habitat for fish, birds, and other aquatic organisms. The complex root system reduces erosion, creates edge habitat, and stabilizes shorelines. Water willow now thrives in parts of Lake Moultrie as a result of transplanting efforts conducted by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Santee-Cooper Power and staff at Bears Bluff National Fish Hatchery. Transplanting is accomplished by the removal of individual plants from healthy colonies and relocating them into areas devoid of vegetation and subject to erosion. These efforts increase habitat for a variety of aquatic species and protect sensitive areas from erosion.

 

 

Newly transplanted water willow shoots. Credit: USFWS Image.

Newly transplanted water willow shoots. Credit: USFWS Image.

 

Experimental water willow restoration site planted by SCDNR, Lake Moultrie, SC. Credit: USFWS Image.

Experimental water willow restoration site planted by SCDNR, Lake Moultrie, SC. Credit: USWS Image.

 

Last updated: August 3, 2011

 

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