Bauer Drain Relocation and Sycamore Creek Mitigation
This stream mitigation project will utilize different in-stream elements to improve the quality of the stream, as required by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy permit issued for the Bauer Drain Relocation Project.
A selection process was undertaken during project design to select a stream that would benefit from habitat improvement, with enough size and flow to support the installation of in-stream habitat elements. The initial assessment of the stream included a topographic survey, analysis of the stream geomorphology, and accounting of the macroinvertebrate and fish in the stream as well as the plants along the banks. The habitat improvements to the stream will be protected by a conservation easement.
This project will utilize a constructed riffle, log vane, and log habitat structures to improve the habitat within the Sycamore Creek. All of these structures have been engineered and will be constructed in locations identified during our mitigation design.
Riffles are short areas of the stream where the speed of the flow will increase as it moves through rocks, boulders and logs. Riffles will create bedform diversity within the creek, creating different habitats for different organisms and fish to live, feed, and find protection from predators. The turbulence caused within a riffle will oxygenate the water, helping to support life in the stream.
Log vanes logs commonly placed near the stream banks where erosion occurs, to redirect the flow of the water into the center. This reduces the stress on the banks, and commonly creates a scour pool in the center of the channel. Log vanes will also cause increased oxygenation of the water and create varying types of habitat to support life within the stream. Anchoring of log vanes is required to keep them in place so they do not move over time.
Log habitat structures, again, help to diversify the habitat found throughout the stream. They provide locations for birds and reptiles to rest as well as provide protection and cover for fish, macroinvertebrates and other species within the water. The logs will be placed along the banks to reduce obstruction of flow in the creek and will be anchored in place.