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Re: Big Spring Habitat Work
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Quote:

JackM wrote:
Thanks. Looks like they are working in the ditch.


This work is downstream from the ditch a few hundred yards where the stream is much shallower.

Posted on: 2010/9/13 8:41


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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IT's already too late to get rid of the bows. They should have done that when they closed the hatchery. As for browns they've for some reason never done well at Big Spring, it's either lack of cover or temperature that keeps them in check.

Posted on: 2010/9/13 21:37
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Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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I'll have to take a drive out there. I've been to Big Spring several times and always thought the water below the ditch was kind of shallow and wide. And it also has less vegitation than the Letort.

I like the "J dams" and other structures that have been done on Muddy Creek. I really think deeper water would be nice on Big Spring.

I hate to think how much more vegetation might be lost due to the project. Hopefully there has been good planning backed by research, and the project is successful.

Posted on: 2010/9/15 19:16
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Re: Big Spring Habitat Work
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Was able to get out there tonight and get a good look at the progress of this project. In short: I'm very pleased. So far, it looks great. Further up this thread I mentioned I was skeptical of this project's value and unable to find out the details. Past work projects in the middle reg water on BS consist mainly of deflectors and wing dams built in the 1930s and 1970s and more recently the removal of concrete dam remains and bridge abutments. These have been of little value IMO and increased sedimentation. While I don't claim to be an expert on stream improvement projects, what I saw tonight looks much more promising and clearly has been very professional in its construction. Essentially, what has been done so far is to narrow the channel and build small, concave shaped jack dams creating a deeper channel with small waterfalls designed to dig plunge pools below them. Interspersed between these are logs placed into the channel at an angle for cover (as currently can be seen in the ditch). The stream has actually been narrowed about 50% in many spots and what had been riffles only inches in depth are now runs over a foot deep. Much of the cress and aquatic vegetation have been cleared but these will grow back soon enhancing cover. The filled in areas have been planted with a variety of specialty plants. Not sure what these are but according to what came out at the TU meeting tonight, the plant/soil issue was given a lot of thought and planning. Again, I'm pleased with the progress. Certainly, this will provide more holding water and afford trout some protection from the herons that hit this stretch hard. Also, I was pleased that the gravel bottom remains clear and the construction itself has not resulted in sedimentation. Current plans are to complete the project before spawning time later this fall.

Attach file:



jpg  BS1.jpg (66.52 KB)
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jpg  BS2.jpg (71.36 KB)
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jpg  BS3.jpg (70.89 KB)
26_4c917172a75c7.jpg 319X239 px

jpg  BS4.jpg (70.86 KB)
26_4c91718663152.jpg 319X239 px

jpg  BS5.jpg (65.45 KB)
26_4c917192f3df8.jpg 319X239 px

Posted on: 2010/9/15 21:27


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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Fishidiot,
Thanks for the pictures...that work looks like it is really coming along nicely and I am excited to see how it will effect the stream over the next couple of years.

Posted on: 2010/9/16 13:05


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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Thanks, looks good.

Posted on: 2010/9/16 14:11
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Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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I'm having trouble placing the spot from my memory. Is the work here?

Attach file:



jpg  big spring.jpg (267.66 KB)
2087_4c927b7ad5eb4.jpg 1011X450 px

Posted on: 2010/9/16 16:18


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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That's where I was thinking, I can see the ditch on the far left. I would assume that is exactly where it is.

Posted on: 2010/9/16 19:53
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Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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Quote:
BS4.jpg


Wonder why they did not take that island out?

Posted on: 2010/9/16 20:15


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work
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I wondered that too....not only is it not taken out but it has toe protection meaning it is intentionally there.

My guess is it is a shallower braid to the channel to promote brook trout spawning. If they put grade control structures in that does not leave much habitat for brook trout to spawn. The whole thing looks like rainbow spawning water to me. But I would have to see it up close.

Posted on: 2010/9/16 20:27
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Re: Big Spring Habitat Work
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Quote:

franklin wrote:
I'm having trouble placing the spot from my memory. Is the work here?


Yes (a bit to the right of your arrow).

Maurice,
You're correct, the island is man made and didn't exist before. It currently exists in what would have been the center of the channel before the stream was narrowed. I too assumed it was some form of spawning braid, although I've never seen anything quite like this built anywhere else. The side braid is only about 2' wide and very shallow. There are some folks who have long felt that the historic success of brookie spawning in BS is due to the shallow nature of the stream combined with fine gravel and current upwellings thru that gravel. I don't know what affect, if any, these changes will have on spawning and the brookie vs rainbow issue. I do feel that these changes will greatly improve the area with regards to holding water and trout survivability.

Posted on: 2010/9/16 21:14


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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Thanks for posting the photos.

The project will probably increase the trout population. But I doubt that the project will shift the population in favor of brook trout. If they want that they would have to put in a barrier and periodically remove other trout.

Posted on: 2010/9/16 22:58


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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Thanks for the photos Fishidiot! I too am not a professional but I am young and passionate about stream restoration and I have had my part in the design of three restorations in VA and WV. The philosophy for stream restoration I use is Rosgen's Natural Channel Design, which in laymen's terms mimics stable (reference) channels. No one ever becomes a pro at stream restoration, you just learn from your mistakes and you don't do them again (that seems so easy to say but each stream is unique). Overall I think the stream width is an improvement but from the photos I do not like the riprap toe treatment, the island, and the log wing deflector. First let me say the pattern and profile of spring creeks are nothing like that of freestoners. I know from experience and research that the natural pattern and profile of spring creeks (or chalk streams) are supposed to be wide and have braided, non conforming channels with slow and deep moving pools with lots of VEG. Of course this isn't optimal habitat for trout but it is habitat for their food - macrophytes. The design IMO has conflicts with the rip rap toe treatments, I prefer bioengineering techniques like coir logs, willow mats, sunken trees, anything but rock unless its already in the system. It’s a spring creek, riprap toe treatments are for dynamic streams (i.e. freestoners) where there are bankfull events and there is a potential for bank erosion. Next, the island, that "oxbow" channel attempt will just be silted in and will become choked with cress. No flow or low flow = vegetation on spring creeks. Creation of braided channels is a hit or miss design attempt, but it seems to be forced here. The deflectors are not sloping towards the center of the channel, instead they are flat across the flow and it spreads the current across the channel into the bank. Not that this should be the case for a spring creek but this would have created increased velocities that would have developed a short traveled thalwag to promote feeding lanes. Also the logs are perfectly manicured. they should sunken some root wad trees with limbs and stuck them in there to provide cover. I think spring creek restoration is one of the more interesting models for stream restoration. I applaud the work because any work is good work and that section needed it. I hope I am not throwing anyone under the bus but you do get criticized in this field due to the enormity of stream restoration and it makes for improvement when developing a new model for success. Truth be told Big Spring is a gem; I think it will all work out since streams behave how they want to-I just hope it is the answer for the trout.

Posted on: 2010/9/17 10:53
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Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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2009/2/10 16:30
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Quote:

Fishidiot wrote:
Quote:

franklin wrote:
I'm having trouble placing the spot from my memory. Is the work here?


Yes (a bit to the right of your arrow).

Maurice,
You're correct, the island is man made and didn't exist before. It currently exists in what would have been the center of the channel before the stream was narrowed. I too assumed it was some form of spawning braid, although I've never seen anything quite like this built anywhere else. The side braid is only about 2' wide and very shallow. There are some folks who have long felt that the historic success of brookie spawning in BS is due to the shallow nature of the stream combined with fine gravel and current upwellings thru that gravel. I don't know what affect, if any, these changes will have on spawning and the brookie vs rainbow issue. I do feel that these changes will greatly improve the area with regards to holding water and trout survivability.


Reason I asked was that I didn't remember the amount of elevation that I see in your photos and the aerial didn't seem like it was much either. Thanks for clearing that up.

Posted on: 2010/9/17 15:39


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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2006/9/13 10:18
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Again the issue is not of flows, as some suggest, it is an issue of wide channel and lack of cover.
brookies psawn mostly in the ditch. The dam at the end of the ditch inhibits movement of trout to the ditch and should have been removed before they made improvements in the ditch.
The balance of the populations has tipped in favor of rainbows, in a coulpe of years there will be no brookies.

Posted on: 2010/9/27 19:32
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