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Monday
Apr162012

Plum Creek Revetment Project

"Members of TU#710 met at Plum Creek WMA at 9:00 am on Saturday, May 31, 2008 with Andy Glidden of the Nebraska Game & Parks Fisheries Division.  After a brief tour and history of the stream and inspection of a few of the previous revetments placed by the NGPC last year, the group was divided into two work parties.

    One group, armed with a sledgehammer, jack, a chain and several branch loppers set off upstream from our starting point to inspect the revetments, which were built by NGPC last year.  If the work had been successful and resulted in a well established sand bar with good vegetation, the fence post anchoring the downed cedar tree which formed the revetment was removed or, if not possible, pounded deep into the bank.  Then branches above the streambed were removed.  There was also a good bit of clean up of branches to provide adequate paths for stream access and areas of open fishing.  Mike Sonderman, the TU #710 project leader for this endeavor, led this group. 

    Meanwhile, the other group, under the direction of Andy Glidden (NGPC) was locating areas of the stream where the sand and silt had made the stream wide, shallow and slow.  These were good candidates for adding a revetment.  For example if the stream was 20' wide and a foot deep and running slow, the sand and silt was deposited there making the water even more shallow, and thus warming the water (a bad thing for cold water species such as the naturally producing Brown Trout in Plum Creek).   Cutting a 25' high Cedar tree and anchoring it on the edge of the stream with a fence post and #9 wire caused three things to happen almost instantaneously: The water slowed immediately behind the tree.  The water in the remainder of the now narrower stream began to run faster, picking up sand and silt and exposing the natural gravel bottom of the stream.  This, in turned exposed many gravel areas encouraging spawning and faster, colder water.  The silt and sand was then deposited downstream at the next revetment or sand bar.  The results were very gratifying because just minutes after installing a revetment you could see the slower water, faster water, and the movement of the sand and silt.  Our group installed nine separate revetments on the lower half of the stream using one or more trees in each revetment.  During our exercise, we spotted 5-6 nice Brown's in excess of 20" and also numerous tiny Brown Trout, a sure sign of a stream that is coming back to life.  We are confident the work we did Saturday will only further increase the health of Plum Creek and create a vibrant Trout Stream where there once was a neglected and degraded fishery.

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