A stream restoration project starts taking shape in Wayne County
The US Fish and Wildlife Service will spend the next six weeks trying to restore aquatic habitat in Wallenpaupack Creek near Newfoundland park.
The stream was compromised after the flood of 1955. After the flood – the stream was re-designed in a straight line to prevent future flooding, but it wasn’t until years later- research uncovered – the design was flawed.
Altering the stream’s design was bad science for Nick Spinell, Director or the Lake Wallenpaupack Watershed Management. "it was straightened out on maps- it literally looks like a roadway." says Spinelli.
The move was made after the flood of 1955, attempting to prevent future flooding. " With the idea that a straight stream would get rid of water faster." says Spinelli.
But research uncovered years later – that was not a viable option. The straight stream left virtually no habitat for all things living in the water..
" Because of the manipulation it lacks natural habitat." says Spinelli.
The fish and wildlife service will spend the next six weeks fixing that mistake.
"Because its straight and conjugated pool we are putting more habitat features in to support more fish." says Larry Brannaka of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Hundreds of these 25 foot logs were dropped off at Newfoundland park. A specialized fabric is wrapped around the logs, allowing water to pass through ..
" That holds all the material in place on the ramp so the water can run uphill." says Brannaka.
Steel cables will be fastened around the logs and rocks in the stream, anchoring them in place.
"Its not the log that does the work, it’s the ramp that we build behind it that does the work and holds the water down."
Once the ramps are secured in the stream – it will create a scour pool in the water…
The tumbling water provides a safer stomping ground for aquatic life.
"I think if you ask the anglers it the area they would say that’s important." says Brannaka.
The project will also help prevent stream-bank erosion. Spinelli says impact fees from Lake Wallenpaupack are paying for the work. He estimates it will completed in six weeks.