Summer Streams; Improving Habitat
As summer comes to an end, the Cambria Conservation District’s participation in fish habitat and streambank stabilization projects, also winds down. Starting in mid-May, the District had the opportunity to participate in several stream projects aimed at providing fish habitat structures while stabilizing the banks of the stream. The season kicked off in Nanty Glo with a few structures within a tributary feeding into the flood control project that runs through town. Staff was busy assisting in the construction of similar structures for much of the summer, with locations scattered across the county in streams located in Northern Cambria, Nicktown, and Carrolltown.
District staff helped the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission on three of the projects, and Trout Unlimited on two of the projects this summer. The projects begin with planning where to place the fish habitat structures, different structures create different types of effects, and depending on a variety of different stream conditions, the most suitable structure is chosen. Agreements, grant work, and a lot of logistics planning goes on in the early phases of a project. When the day comes for construction, hand labor is used to drill holes in logs and pound rebar into the logs to secure them to the bank. Once logs are placed in the stream, large stones are placed by construction equipment. Banks are typically graded and re-seeded, this helps to reduced erosion. Depending on the size of the project and the cooperation of weather, the work done this summer lasted from two days to more than a week per project.
These projects provide a wide range of benefits for aquatic resources and wildlife as well as local communities. The projects of summer 2019 have come to an end, with a few lingering projects stretching into fall. With over 4,500 feet of stream directly improved, District staff looks forward to next year’s summer season when more projects can get underway.
For more information regarding stream restoration and fish habitat structures CLICK HERE.