Title

Worth the Time: Understanding the Improvement of Water and Fish Health After a Stream Restoration

Item Type

Poster

Location

Elaine Langone Center, Terrace Room

Session

Poster session

Start Date

26-10-2018 8:00 PM

End Date

26-10-2018 9:59 PM

Keywords

Little Juniata River, trout, restoration, habitat restoration, Kelso Run

Description

Stream fish habitat restoration is a major business and is especially popular in cold-water systems to improve trout populations. In this study, we compared stream habitat conditions and the fish assemblage before and after a habitat improvement project on Kelso Run, a headwater stream in the Little Juniata River watershed, that was geomorphically devastated by flood waters from Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Located in Blair County, Kelso Run is a 1.34 mile tributary to Bells Gap Run that supports a wild population of naturally reproducing trout. Acted on by members of the Little Juniata River Association, Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited, and students from several colleges including Juniata College, the restoration’s mission was to improve the health of the stream and trout by filling in gaps in the banks of the stream and providing more pools for trout to reside in. We sampled macroinvertebrates, fish, habitat, and water quality to quantity the ecological lift due to the efforts. Compared to before the restoration activities took place, we observed a significant improvement in fish habitat quality in a few key variables such as cover and pools. We also observed a slight increase in the percentage of fish sampled that were trout. Over time, we expect this value to increase as trout move in and decide to reside there. Along with this improvement, we are in the process of assessing the other data for improvements, such as in the quality of the benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages. Evaluating conditions after restoration projects is an essential process in assessing restoration success.

Language

eng

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Oct 26th, 8:00 PM Oct 26th, 9:59 PM

Worth the Time: Understanding the Improvement of Water and Fish Health After a Stream Restoration

Elaine Langone Center, Terrace Room

Stream fish habitat restoration is a major business and is especially popular in cold-water systems to improve trout populations. In this study, we compared stream habitat conditions and the fish assemblage before and after a habitat improvement project on Kelso Run, a headwater stream in the Little Juniata River watershed, that was geomorphically devastated by flood waters from Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Located in Blair County, Kelso Run is a 1.34 mile tributary to Bells Gap Run that supports a wild population of naturally reproducing trout. Acted on by members of the Little Juniata River Association, Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited, and students from several colleges including Juniata College, the restoration’s mission was to improve the health of the stream and trout by filling in gaps in the banks of the stream and providing more pools for trout to reside in. We sampled macroinvertebrates, fish, habitat, and water quality to quantity the ecological lift due to the efforts. Compared to before the restoration activities took place, we observed a significant improvement in fish habitat quality in a few key variables such as cover and pools. We also observed a slight increase in the percentage of fish sampled that were trout. Over time, we expect this value to increase as trout move in and decide to reside there. Along with this improvement, we are in the process of assessing the other data for improvements, such as in the quality of the benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages. Evaluating conditions after restoration projects is an essential process in assessing restoration success.