* Project: NY Batten Kill Habitat Restoration 2014
* Location: Along Rte 313 above Eagleville Covered Bridge and below the Highway 61 bridge from where the river is close to the road up above the confluence with Murray Hollow Brook in Shushan, NY. See “Past Projects” for previous restoration reaches beginning in 2010 and other projects.
* Time frame: Summer 2014. This project was postponed from July 2013 by high water levels – after the river came down we could not get the scientist back to supervise as he was already booked for other projects. [This project has now been completed, but I am leaving it in the current project display because it has taken me so long to get the photos up.]
* Partners: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Department, NY Department of Environmental Conservation, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, Washington County Soil, Water, and Conservation District, Adirondack and Clearwater Trout Unlimited Chapters.
* Problem description: These Batten Kill reaches are over-widened and shallow, to some extent because of old, dysfunctional "deflector" structures that were angled with the open end of the "V" facing downstream. The shallow flow and lack of depth plus the lack of sufficient large trees in the river channel mean that the habitat is deficient in cover and shelter for trout. Landowners are experiencing significant bank erosion due to the dysfunctional dynamics, which contributes to excess sedimentation and further widening with shallow flows.
* Planned project work:
The project work has removed the old deflectors and installed structures of wood and stone that create a concentrated river flow that winds back and forth within the existing channel and also provide cover and shelter. This approach has been proven to increase the trout population. The structures will be designed to rebuild the banks in the eroded areas, and the banks will be planted with trees and bushes afterwards. In the sections near Rte 313 we installed bank bunkers of wood, stone, and brush in which the missing bank is rebuilt with a flow through structure underneath: the water goes in and out of the outer tree rootwads. Along the section above the confluence with Murray Hill Brook we installed bank benches in which the structure is completely filled in to narrow the channel.
Photos in the slideshow first show the reaches to be restored as too wide and shallow, with little cover and shelter, and significant bank erosion. There are then photos of the building of the bank bunkers to repair erosion and narrow the channel flow, while still allowing flood plain access, and allowing the water to flow in and out under the bunker among the trees and stones so that fish have cover and shelter. There are also photos showing a series of bank bunkers upstream of Murray Hollow Brook on the opposite side that are narrowing the channel and improving stream dynamics. One picture shows a volunteer tree joining our structure, and another shows how the tree roots provide complex structures for cover and shelter, to collect other woody material, and to slow the current.