All Waters to Watch


A waterway, once a home to eastern brook trout and many other aquatic animals, Aaron Run has been short on fish ever since historic mining activities polluted the stream. Like many waters in the northeastern United States, acid mine drainage has severely impaired water quality of the creek causing very low pH levels. In addition, mining practices damaged the stream banks and agricultural impacts in the watershed have led to erosion of the stream banks.

The Maryland Department of the Environment (Bureau of Mines), The Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture, the Western Maryland Resource Conservation and Development Council, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, fisheries and many other partners are working together to remediate the sources of habitat degradation in Aaron Run and to bring back the brook trout in this stream.

In South Carolina, shorelines adjacent to the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (ACE Basin - Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto Rivers are subject to severe erosion due to heavy boat traffic and artificial channelization, which disrupts natural shoreline processes. This erosion destroys or threatens oyster reef and salt marsh habitats. In the project area, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) has documented 2.25miles of shoreline on the Ashepoo/Rock Creek cut as suffering from severe marsh erosion and in need of protection.

The Agulowak River is one of the salmon rich jewels of Southwest Alaska. The river provides a robust fishery for sport anglers, subsistence and commercial users. The Conservation Fund, the Nushagak-Mulchatna / Wood-Tikchik Land Trust, the State of Alaska, Bristol Bay Native Corporation, Aleknagik Natives Limited, and the USFWS Coastal Program worked together to secure a conservation easement on Native land within the Wood-Tikchik State Park, including both banks of the Agulowak River and approximately 42 miles of shoreline along Lakes Aleknagik and Nerka—a total of about 21,000 acres of land with high fish and wildlife values.

Mat-Su Salmon Habitat Partnership
Alexander Creek Watershed, tributary of the Susitna River, and formerly significant sport fishing area. This system includes 690 acre Alexander Lake, 40 mile long Alexander Creek and tributaries to that system that cover hundreds of square miles in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Approximately 50 air miles northwest of Anchorage, the Alexander Creek Watershed is a remote and slow moving meandering river system with numerous tributaries and shallow lakes and ponds. It has thousands of acres of adjacent wetlands with side-sloughs and oxbow channels

To improve landscape-scale resilience for salmon in the Anchor River, Cook Inletkeeper, Kachemak Heritage Land Trust, and Kenai Watershed Forum will integrate KBRR and USFWS watershed models and spatially-explicit, remotely-sensed thermal data to help Kachemak Heritage Land Trust determine which parcels with key Chinook and coho salmon habitat are the highest priority for permanent conservation, and work together to create and implement an outreach strategy for public and private landowner contact.

This project focuses on the North Branch of the Au Sable River, a tributary of Lake Huron and a very stable, ground-water fed system. It is a federally designated Wild and Scenic River and a state designated Natural River.

It is a world class trout stream and arguably the most sought after river in Michigan for anglers. Because of these characteristics there are numerous watershed groups that have actively worked for over 30 years to preserve the integrity of the river.

Through removal of diversion fish passage barriers and riparian restoration, this project will restore 6.5 miles of stream habitat for Bull Trout and many other important species.

The Badger Creek diversion structure was removed in May of 2007. Re-vegetation has occurred and the stream is no longer a impediment to native fish passage. (Outcome: 1 removed fish barrier, opening up 6.5 miles of stream)

(Desert Fish Habitat Partnership)
Conservation Action: This spring system supports three endangered fish species and four species of concern. They are threatened by issues including complete dewatering, depletion of aquifers by groundwater pumping, conversion for agricultural or recreation use, and poor land management practices. Management of spring and ciénega systems requires a holistic, watershed approach with private, state, federal, and local partners to conserve, restore, and address threats to these important desert habitats.

In-stream and riparian habitat restoration for Eastern brook trout in the Batten Kill watershed, have been based on scientific assessments and monitoring that have led to strategic on-the-ground implementation of restoration practices.

The goals are to deliver as much short term habitat restoration work as possible through the installation of in-stream cover and shelter along with replanting the riparian zone, while making long term investments in quality habitat by improving river dynamics, conserving existing buffers, and planting buffer zones where vegetation is deficient.

Western Native Trout Initiative
The Western Native Trout Initiative funded Phases I and II that provided short-term immediate relief for sediment issue on Bear Creek in 2010 and 2011. These projects were meant to protect the Bear Creek Cutthroat habitat until a broader sediment control plan was in place. In 2013 WNTI funded a portion of Phase III, which, coupled with a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant, will provide permanent sediment control for the Bear Creek Greenback cutthroat trout, which have been recently considered the only remaining population of true native Greenback Cutthroat trout.

Bear Creek begins in Sauk County and flows for nearly 27 miles before entering the Wisconsin River, approximately 1.7 miles west of Lone Rock, in Richland County. It is currently classified by statute as a cold water stream in the upper reaches and as a warm water sport fishery in the lower 8.2 mile reach near the mouth. Six major tributary streams and many small tributaries flow into Bear Creek.

Years of erosion, has taken its toll on Bear Creek and several partners jumped into action to remediate the problem. Wisconsin DNR worked with a private landowner to secure a public fishing easement which helped catapult the streambank work.

(Pacific Marine and Estuarine Partnership)
Conservation Action:The Bear River Estuary Restoration project would restore 500 acres of high quality, estuarine habitat on the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. Re-establishment of natural estuarine processes and habitats will benefit a diverse array of aquatic and avian species including marine invertebrates, salmon and trout, shorebirds, and waterfowl. Restoration will provide habitat for juveniles salmon, reconnect spawning streams for salmon and trout, and contribute to the overall health of Willapa Bay.

This project will enhance 1.8 miles in-stream habitat for Apache trout and speckled dace.

The Bear Wallow barrier was constructed in May 2007. This barrier now protects endangered Apache trout in almost 2 miles from non-native fish invasion. (Outcome: 2 miles of protected stream)

2007: The barrier was constructed in May 2007 and took 25 days to build. Due to its remote location, over 97,000 lbs. of materials had to be flown in via helicopter over a five-day period.

(Mat-Su Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership)
Conservation Action: Big Lake, located in the fast-developing Mat-Su Borough, is a large, well-populated lake used for recreation in the growing community of Big Lake, just west of Wasilla. The lake itself, with 26 miles of shoreline and two streams in its basin, is used by spawning sockeye and coho salmon each year, and is host to resident populations of Dolly Varden, and rainbow trout. Threats include hydrocarbons from boats, habitat loss through shoreline development, urban stormwater runoff, and invasive northern pike. The Big Lake Community is working on a Community Impact Assessment Project with the Mat-Su Borough to address responsible growth, including habitat concerns.

A part of the Blue River watershed of the lower Wisconsin River, Big Spring Branch is 5.5 miles of exceptional resource water that supports naturally reproducing brook trout and brown trout. The watershed has suffered under heavy agricultural pressure. Improved land management practices in recent years have improved in the watershed, increasing groundwater recharge, raising overall water quality, and lowering stream temperatures.

Great Lakes Basin Partnership
The nearly 300 square mile Boardman River watershed is located in Grand Traverse and Kalkaska Counties in northwest Michigan. With the exception of the extreme lower river and three impoundments, the Boardman is an oligotrophic river system with excellent water quality characterized by cold temperatures, high dissolved oxygen concentrations, and nutrients provided by allochthonous inputs. Of the approximately 179 miles of river and tributary streams in the Boardman system, 36 miles are designated as “Blue Ribbon” trout streams, providing premier fish habitat. Anglers from near and far come to enjoy the predominantly resident brook and brown trout fishery, providing important economic benefits to the region. The entire watershed is also used for activities such as canoeing, tubing, kayaking, hiking, hunting, and bird watching. These uses make it a destination for an estimated 2 million Recreational User Days annually.

Under the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture Fish Habitat Partnership, through the National Fish Habitat Action Plan, this fish habitat restoration project will benefit brook trout populations in Wallack’s Branch of Bobs Creek, Bedford County, Pennsylvania by removing fish barriers and creating in-stream habitat. Modifications to five small structures (including small dams) which currently reduce free movement of trout within the stream in Wallack’s Branch will allow fish to move without impediment through the stream. Additionally, 23 new structures will be installed to provide fish habitat. These structures will include single log vanes, multi-log vanes, stone deflectors, cross vanes, rootwads, and a bankful bench, which help create cover and varying flows for resting and feeding, and help direct water movement during high flow events. The project will begin at the mouth of Wallack’s Branch and extend approximately two miles upstream.

The Oxbow Restoration Project within the Boone River Watershed (BRW) includes White Fox Creek, Eagle Creek, Buck Creek and Lyons Creek (Hamilton and Wright Counties). The BRW is a Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI) watershed and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has designated the lower 26 miles as a “Protected Water Area.” The Boone River is a tributary of the Des Moines River in north-central Iowa.

(Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership/Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership)
Conservation Action: Located in a priority area identified in the North Carolina Department of Marine Fisheries Coastal Habitat Protection Plan, this project will restore .5 acres of fish habitat by placing approximately 1,000 tons of crushed granite (over 2,000 cubic yards, .5 acres downstream of lock and dam #2) in the Cape Fear River below Lock & Dam No. 2 in Bladen County. Currently, less than 35% of the fish population is able to reach historical spawning grounds.

Project Submission by: The California Fish Passage Forum

The Carmel River Reroute and San Clemente Dam Project is the largest dam removal project ever to occur in California ($83 million) and one of the largest to occur on the West Coast. It involved removal of a 106-foot high antiquated dam and implemented a watershed restoration process. The project is intended to:

• Provide a long-term solution to the public safety risk posed by the potential collapse of the outdated San Clemente Dam in the event of a large flood or earthquake, which would have threatened 1,500 homes and other public buildings.
• Provide unimpeded access to over 25 miles of essential spawning and rearing habitat, thereby aiding in the recovery of threatened South-Central California Coast steelhead.
• Restore the river’s natural sediment flow, helping to replenish sand on Carmel Beach and improve habitat downstream of the dam for steelhead.
• Reduce beach erosion that contributes to destabilization of homes, roads, and infrastructure.

Project Submission by: The Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership
This project seeks to stop erosion, reduce sedimentation, reduce elevated water temperatures, and restore a riparian zone of the Mulberry River, a state-designated Extraordinary Resource Waterbody and nationally designated Scenic River. Restoration will take place on private property adjacent to US Forest Service (USFS) lands. This is a cooperative community project that will restore the streambank, reestablish the riparian zone 60 feet out into the floodplain, and educate citizens on water quality and river protection.

(Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership)
Conservation Action: As part of the “Chipola River Watershed Restoration For Listed Mussels and the Black Bass Initiative” project, partners will collaborate with state and non-profit entities to address action items that will benefit aquatic resources in the Chipola River Basin.

The Conner Creek Project will provide full passage for all life stages of coho salmon and steelhead by removing two culverts. Conner Creek flows directly into the Trinity River, a tributary of the Klamath River. The first phase, accomplished in 2011, provides full fish and flood/debris passage; eliminates the potential for sediment; decreases the potential for upstream headcutting; improves flow capacity; reintroduces large wood routing in the stream, and restores natural stream function.

Cottonwood Creek, located in the fast-developing lower Matanuska-Susitna basin, is a spring-fed urbanized system that flows through Wasilla into Cook Inlet. While overall salmon numbers remain strong in the 24,000 square mile basin, localized habitat degradation and salmon declines have spurred local partners to focus their efforts –a combination of assessment, monitoring, restoration and education -around Cottonwood Creek to help ensure that wild salmon and native fish remain a part of life here in Alaska.

This restoration project, under the Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership, through the National Fish Habitat Action Plan involves Diamond Lake, a 166 acre shallow natural lake in northwest Iowa. Historical records indicate this lake once had a thriving and diverse aquatic plant community, clear water, and a healthy aquatic ecosystem. For the past 80-100 years, however, the lake has exhibited poor water quality, excessive blue-green algal growth, and extremely limited fisheries and wildlife habitat.

This project focuses on improving water quality by shifting the lake to a clear water state using water-level management to consolidate bottom sediments, re-establish aquatic plants, and control common carp populations. The restoration of Diamond Lake is Iowa’s inaugural shallow lake restoration project providing resource management professionals with experience and expertise for managing shallow lakes. The project also provides stakeholders a demonstration of the restoration potential for other shallow lakes.

California Fish Passage Forum
Tidal marsh enhancement of habitat to benefit Pacific salmon, migratory waterfowl, Tidewater goby, Green sturgeon and scores of other species that once flourished in the Eel River Delta. Just as the Eel River Delta provides a rich habitat mosaic for abundant aquatic and terrestrial species, so too does it host flourishing agricultural communities, primarily dairy and beef cattle. All of the proposed projects underway in the Delta seek to reverse adverse drainage patterns that have resulted from more than a century of tidal marsh reclamation. The improved drainage efforts are increasing the productivity of rich pastures in the Eel Delta while also restoring important habitat for a variety of state and federally listed species.

Project Submission by: The Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership

The mission of the Eel River Initiative is to design and implement a holistic strategy to restore the ecological integrity of the Eel River basin within the context of human endeavors and to provide ecological research opportunities for Manchester University Environmental Studies students.

Ash Meadows within the Amargosa River system in southern Nevada is a unique desert wetlands complex supporting one of the highest levels of indigenousness species in North America. Designated a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance in 1986, Ash Meadows contains at least 25 unique species and subspecies dependent on these isolated spring and wetland habitats including three endemic fishes, the Ash Meadows and Warm Springs pupfish and Ash Meadows speckled dace, which occur nowhere else in the world.

Through historic development for agriculture, the surface hydrology and aquatic habitats in Ash Meadows have been highly modified by spring diversion, peat mining, irrigation ditches, and water storage impoundments. Anthropogenic landscape alteration has resulted in the loss of habitats vital for the recovery of the Ash Meadows speckled dace and Ash Meadows pupfish and has resulted in the alteration of hydrologic processes that create and maintain those aquatic habitats.

The Georgetown Road Relocation Project, through the Western Native Trout Initiative under the National Fish Habitat Action Plan, is a multi-year project to remove approximately 2 miles of road from the bottom of Georgetown Creek (including 3 impassable culverts) to improve aquatic and riparian habitat, water quality, and fish passage in the canyon. In 2008, the new road was built in the uplands and in 2009 the Caribou-Targhee Forest initiated the removal of the old road. This project has restored water quality and riparian and in-stream habitat through the removal of the old road and the building of a fish ladder. Continued work is planned for 2010, reconnecting other segments of the stream.

(California Fish Passage Forum)
Conservation Action: Grape Creek is located in the Russian River watershed, the first Habitat Focus Area selected as part of NOAA's new agency-wide Habitat Blueprint initiative. Habitat Focus Areas are places where NOAA is pooling resources and expertise to maximize conservation of important habitat. This project will improve streamflow for endangered coho and threatened chinook salmon and steelhead trout in Northern California wine country. NOAA will take a similar approach in other watersheds in coastal California through the Water and Wine Stewardship program.

Both the Desert Fish Habitat Partnership and the Western Native Trout Initiative, under the National Fish Habitat Action Plan, have recognized the outstanding aquatic resources of the Green River Basin. Both partnerships support projects, directly and indirectly, that benefit fish populations and habitat in ways that place local projects within a larger basin-wide perspective. Projects initiated by the multiple agencies and partners to date include:

The Harpeth River, one of the most ecologically, culturally, historically, and recreationally significant rivers in Tennessee, drains nearly 900 square miles in Middle Tennessee and flows through one of the fastest growing areas in the country. It is a state designated Scenic River in Davidson County outside, but easily accessible from, downtown Nashville.

Project Submission by: The Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership
The Harpeth River, one of the most ecologically, culturally, historically, and recreationally significant rivers in Tennessee drains nearly 900 square miles in Middle Tennessee and flows through one of the fastest growing areas in the country. It is a state designated Scenic River in Davidson County and easily accessible from downtown Nashville.

The Barataria Bay marsh establishment project is working to re-establish brackish marsh vegetation to counteract high rates of subsidence, shoreline erosion, and marsh loss, and to create 6.6 acres of brackish marsh habitat by fostering growth of aquatic vegetation.
The goal is to create nursery grounds for shellfish, local fish species, and other wildlife as well as nesting and wintering habitat for migratory birds.

This project will restore the natural marsh within the Jockey's Ridge State Park by replanting the marsh, and re-establishing natural buffers that prevented both the wind and wave erosion that destroyed the marsh initially. Prior to becoming a state park, vegetation was cleared and plans were created for development in the northern part of what is now Jockey’s Ridge State Park. The loss of vegetation allowed sand from the largest active dune system on the east coast of the United States to blow directly on the fringing salt marsh along the Roanoke Sound. The marsh and shoreline have been further weakened by wind and wave erosion. To restore the natural marsh an oyster reef sill is being built, and marsh grasses and riparian vegetation planted, establishing natural buffers that prevent both the wind and wave erosion.

Kenai Peninsula Fish Habitat Partnership
The Kenai Peninsula Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Project (Project) will help restore physical and biological processes within the Kasilof and Anchor River Watersheds in order to contribute to a healthy, productive and biologically diverse ecosystem for the benefit of injured species and services. This project addresses root causes to ecosystem impacts by eliminating four aquatic organism passage barriers in the Kasilof and Anchor River Watersheds in order to restore healthy ecosystems in these watersheds. This project builds on the long standings interest of multiple state and federal agencies and organizations (e.g. Kenai Watershed Forum, Trout Unlimited) to restore physical and biological processes within these and other watersheds on the Peninsula. This project supports the overarching stated goal of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council (EVOSTC) Restoration Program by providing benefits to injured resources andservices, and helping to sustain healthy, productive ecosystems in order to maintain naturally occurring diversity.

Pacific Marine and Estuarine Partnership
Restore freshwater and tidal connections, provide off-channel rearing habitat for salmonids, and restore historic spruce swamp habitat. A primary limiting factor for salmonids in the Kilchis system is the availability of off-channel habitat in low-lying areas, especially habitat in the saltwater-freshwater transition zone of the estuary (Kilchis Watershed Analysis, Tillamook Estuaries Partnership 1998). The site provides habitat for coho, Chinook and chum salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout as well as a myriad of other wetland species, including colonial nesting waterbirds, migrating waterfowl, juvenile marine fishes and resident mammals. Human alterations of the estuary (e.g., dredging, diking, draining, filling, dairy pasture creation, jetty construction, sedimentation) as well as species loss have resulted in loss of habitats and their associated biotic communities. Current restoration is aimed at increasing protections for existing salmonid core areas, restoring tidal marsh habitat, re-creating tidal channels and restoring connectivity between tidal sloughs and the Kilchis River. Past restoration efforts have occurred above the project site and complement existing restoration efforts.

The Koktuli River in Southwest Alaska is a major tributary of the Mulchatna River in the Nushagak River watershed. This remote region of the state has a sparse human population, limited developments and is world renowned for its relatively pristine conditions and associated fish and wildlife productivity.

The Koktuli River and other waters in the Nushagak watershed sustain highly valued recreational, commercial and subsistence fisheries. The Koktuli River is a major spawning stream for king (chinook) salmon and has healthy runs of silver (coho) and red (sockeye) salmon. Popular resident recreational fish include rainbow trout, northern pike, arctic grayling and Dolly Varden.

This fish habitat partnership conservation project was initiated through voluntary actions to ensure public protection of these important and intact fisheries. The work on the Koktuli project will be adequately balanced with considerations of other natural resource uses including uses of land and water resources associated with improved access and human population growth and other future actions that might be considered, for enhancing socioeconomic conditions for local residents and others.

This project will restore 58 miles of in-stream habitat in the LaBarge drainage for Colorado cutthroat trout through the removal of non-native species and habitat restoration.

The barrier renovation on LaBarge Creek was completed in the summer of 2006 along with concurrent removal of non-native trout and restocking of native cutthroat trout. (Oucome: 58 restored miles of stream habitat).

Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership
Lake Bloomington is located in central Illinois about 160 miles northeast of St. Louis and approximately 125 miles southwest of Chicago. It was constructed in 1929 by the impoundment of Money Creek. Lake Bloomington, as of 2007, has a surface area of 572 acres, 9.5 miles of shoreline, a maximum depth of 35 feet, a mean depth of 12.9 feet, and a storage volume of 6768 acre feet. The lake was constructed to expand the water supply for the City of Bloomington and several other small communities.

(Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership)
Conservation Action: The Habitat Enhancements for Fisheries and Ecosystem Improvement at Lake Conroe, Texas project is designed to provide self-sustaining and expanding habitat improvements that will continue to improve the Lake Conroe ecosystem for fish and other wildlife and human uses. The native vegetation component has and will continue to mitigate the increasing effects of urbanization (nutrient enrichment, sedimentation, etc.) in the watershed with little or no additional expenses to residents and other users. Direct measures of success include the number of native aquatic plants produced and transferred to the reservoir (over 3,000 to date), acres of native aquatic vegetation in the reservoir as a result of planting or reduction in competition with exotic vegetation (1,850 acres currently), and reduction in harmful exotic aquatic vegetation including hydrilla, giant salvinia, and water hyacinth (over 2,000 acres controlled to date).

Lake Houston is a 12,240-acre reservoir constructed on the San Jacinto River by the City of Houston in 1953 to provide water for municipal and industrial purposes. Its location within the Houston metropolitan area results in heavy recreational use. Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown is the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the United States with a population of 5.6 million as of the 2007 U.S. Census. Lake Houston has a drainage area of approximately 2,600 square miles.

Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership
For 10-15 years post-impoundment, Lake Livingston was a bass fishing destination with numerous regional and national bass fishing tournaments held on the lake. The fishery was aneconomic engine for the local economy. Sedimentation with its associated turbidity, along with extensive shoreline development have negatively impacted shoreline habitat for littoral fishes.In addition, invasive aquatic plants, hydrilla and giant salvinia have become established and have further impacted littoral fisheries habitat.

Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership

Lake Oconee is a 19,000-acre reservoir on the Oconee River in the Altamaha Basin, known as one of the most biologically diverse watersheds in the world. The lake, about 70 miles east of Atlanta, was impounded for hydroelectricity in 1979 behind Georgia Power Company’s Wallace Dam. Lake Oconee’s shoreline has become heavily developed over the past decade with lakefront homes, businesses, and golf courses—and development continues at a rapid pac

The purpose of this project is to protect undeveloped shoreline and provide public access to the land and water via a state park, scheduled to open in 2010. The state of Minnesota will acquire 3,000 acres and 4.93 miles of undeveloped shoreline on Lake Vermilion, St. Louis County, MN. It is expected that this park will quickly become one of the most visited parks in the state, with an estimated 500,000 visitors per year. Lake Vermilion, Minnesota’s fifth largest lake at 39,271 acres with 365 islands and 340 miles of shoreline, is an outstanding recreational fishery, most noted for walleye, muskellunge and smallmouth bass.

Project Nomination by: The Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership
Lake Wichita is the third oldest reservoir in Texas, completed in 1901. Historically Lake Wichita was known as the “Gem of North Texas”, and served as a recreation destination social mecca, a driving economic force, as a haven for the wise-use and conservation of fish and wildlife resources, and as a foundation for community growth by serving as a drinking water source. Having surpassed its expected 100-year life span, Lake Wichita is no longer able to provide significant social, economic, ecological, or recreational benefits to the community. Having recently gone through a historic drought, we were able to see first-hand the fisheries habitat impairments that plague Lake Wichita. Siltation, degraded shoreline areas, loss of connectivity, excessive nutrients, lack of structural habitat, and lack of water coming from the watershed combine to cause Lake Wichita to cease to meet any of its intended purposes.
The Lake Wichita project is a holistic project that addresses all of these habitat issues and intends to galvanize community support for the restoration effort, improve the quality of life of the citizens of Wichita Falls, and provide major economic impacts
to the local and regional community.

(Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership)
Conservation Action: This watershed includes 750,000 acres with 273 lakes. With steady population growth in the region, and projected population increases of up to 50% by 2030, the lakes and streams in the watershed are under pressure from increased shoreline development. Conservation initiatives such as the establishment of Conservation Easements, and improving connectivity for fish in tributaries will benefit fish and fish habitats in the watershed.

As one of the focal areas for the Matanuska-Susitna Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership, restoration work on the Little Susitna River has been brisk. And there’s no shortage of fish in need of safe passage and healthy habitats in this spectacular watershed. The Little Susitna River watershed produces the State’s second-largest freshwater harvest of coho salmon and the sixth-largest number of harvested Chinook salmon in Northern Cook Inlet. It also supports populations of chum, pink and sockeye salmon, as well as many resident fish such as Dolly Varden and rainbow trout. But one of the big problems for fish in the Little Su’ is that an estimated 95% of the 35 culverts in the watershed are at least partially blocked to fish migrations.

The purpose of the Llano River project is to work with willing landowners to protect and improve aquatic habitats of Guadalupe bass and other species in the Llano River, Texas. Despite recent increases in human populations throughout the native range of Guadalupe bass (State Fish of Texas), many stream reaches remain relatively pristine and intact. However, projections of population growth, water demands, and land-use changes indicate that these locations will soon be at risk. Like most of Texas, lands contained within the native range of Guadalupe bass are privately owned, thus effective coordination with private landowners is critical to the long-term conservation of habitats important to Guadalupe bass and other native species.

Striped bass in the Flint River rely on thermal refuges during warmer months, but there are a limited number of springs in the Flint that harbor striped bass. Natural sediment loads and debris in the Flint have accumulated in the springs and have restricted flow and access to habitat by Gulf striped bass. Only 8 of 20 springs hold fish regularly. Improved spring flow and thermal refuge availability for gulf striped bass during the summer months is critical to species management. Natural spring renovation will open the area, allowing increased flow from and thus expanding the thermal refuge, providing better habitat for future spawning.

Hawaii Fish Habitat Partnership
The project goal is to remove invasive species to improve water quality and fish habitat in He’eia Stream Estuary. This project will restore native vegetation in the tidally influenced portion of Heʻeia Stream and its adjacent estuary. Project implementation will involve removal of a large stand of invasive riparian trees, followed by soil preparation, erosion control and riparian forest restoration using native and Polynesian-introduced plant species. Several segments of Heeia Stream and the surrounding ahupuaʻa (watershed) are the focus of synergistic restoration efforts which can serve as a model for community-supported watershed restoration in Hawaii.

The Southeast Aquatics Resources Partnership (SARP), under the National Fish Habitat Action plan through the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP) District 1 Fisheries personnel completed a cooperative project with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’s Pvt. John Allen National Fish Hatchery to stabilize a section of stream bank and improve habitat for Gulf Coast Strain (GCS) walleye on Mackeys Creek in Prentiss County. This was the first phase of a GCS walleye restoration project on this headwater stream of the Tombigbee River

In an effort to improve habitat for Lahontan Cutthroat Trout (LCT) in Nevada, Maggie Creek has been the focus of comprehensive watershed restoration efforts involving Newmont Mining Corporation (Newmont), Elko Land and Livestock, the Elko District Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Trout Unlimited, Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) and other partners beginning in the early 1990’s.

Project will open 31 miles of tributary waters for fish passage and improve approximately 4 miles of downstream habitat to the confluence of the main stem of the Manistee River.
This project will ensure that the stream will no longer be impounded, sand and sediment will be transported naturally, stream temperatures will recover, stream habitat will recover, and wild brook trout will be able to return to a reach that has been segmented for approximately 40 years.

Efforts to improve aquatic habitat in the Meramec – Lower Bourbeuse Watershed Basin sub watersheds are unique, as landowners drive the restoration program and their demand for assistance is high. An established six member landowner committee governs and guides restoration efforts in the watershed.

There is a lengthy history of established landowner cooperation/participation in the Meramec Basin-Lower Bourbeuse watershed which includes Little Bourbeuse, Brush Creek, Lick Creek and Boone Creek sub-watersheds. There has been a waiting list of landowners with a clear desire to participate in watershed improvement efforts since 2001; with significant improvements in the watershed taking shape and showing a distinct difference in quality of habitat over the past eight years.

Project Submission by: The California Fish Passage Forum
Chinook salmon and steelhead are part California’s natural heritage, and their recovery and preservation for future generations presents both a challenge and an opportunity. Meeting that challenge requires that Deer Creek and Mill Creek, in Tehama County, are restored to their full potential as streams that have been home to salmonids for thousands of years. Deer and Mill creeks are two of only three streams supporting extant self-sustaining wild populations of Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). The Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU) is listed as threatened under the State and Federal Endangered Species Acts. Both Deer and Mill creeks are considered conservation strongholds for this ESU, as well as Central Valley steelhead (O. mykiss), which are listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act, and fall-run Chinook salmon, listed as a State Species of Special Concern.

Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture
In 2012, the Mid-Atlantic Region, and in particular, West Virginia suffered great loss and damages from the Derecho in June and Super Storm Sandy in October. While these storms did billions of dollars of property and infrastructure damage, they also had profoundly detrimental impacts to streams. Many of West Virginia’s best brook trout streams have been covered densely in down and suspended trees offering no Large Woody Material benefits to fish and severely obstructing stream access for recreation and fishing. Along with suspended fallen trees in narrow valleys are large debris jams and exposed root wads that threaten damaging channel morphology impacts, bank erosion, and increased sedimentation.

(Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership)
Conservation Action:This project is part of the President’s Great Outdoors Initiative. The project seeks to transform the Calumet region of Chicago into a one-of-a kind open space destination. The environment will be improved by restoring 6000 acres of natural areas within the 140,000 acre project area, including 18,554 acres of wetlands and several lakes adjacent to and upstream of Lake Michigan, as well as Lake Michigan lakeshore. This project is currently the largest open space project in the country.

Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership
Milltown Island historically was an estuarine wetland and is located in the Skagit tidal delta. Restoration of this island was identified in the federally adopted Skagit Chinook Recovery Plan. Phased restoration began at the 212-acre Milltown Island in 2007 through the use of explosives to breach the dike surrounding the perimeter of the island. The primary purpose of restoration at Milltown is to increase rearing habitat capacity to natural origin juvenile Chinook salmon. Carrying capacity in the Skagit estuary is limiting the Chinook population to recover.

Matanuska Susitna Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership
Mat-Su’s Montana Creek has been specified by the State of Alaska as important for the spawning, rearing, or migration of anadromous fish (AS 41.14.870). This alluvial system has high quality spawning gravels and provides critical spawning, rearing, and overwintering habitats for Chinook, coho, pink, and chum salmon. It receives heavy angling attention during the summer months and is the focus of a variety of ongoing habitat and fish assessment projects, streambank restoration activities, as well as parcel conservation activities and community asset planning. This water is also important to watch due to its location within the Mat-Su Basin, a fast-growing area in the state that currently has the most fish stocks of concern in Alaska. These stocks include Susitna River basin sockeye salmon and six stocks of Chinook, including Goose Creek Chinook (enters the Susitna just downstream of Montana Creek).

The Moose Creek Fish Passage Restoration Project resulted in a total of 3,400 lineal feet of restored river channel and adjacent floodplain characteristics and restored fish access to more than six miles of spawning and rearing habitats for Pacific salmon. This project increased available salmon habitats on Moose Creek by 200%, going from 3 miles to 9 miles of spawning and rearing habitats.

Desert Fish Habitat Partnership
The Muddy River Ecosystem Recovery project is designed to recovery the endemic Moapa dace (Moapa coriacea) and other native biodiversity dependent upon the Muddy River in southern Nevada. It is a basin wide recovery effort focused primarily on upstream portions of the river (springheads, springbrooks), but extending downstream nearly 30 km to Lake Mead. Moapa dace is a unique genus of endangered fish with the highest recovery priority possible (recovery priority 1c).

The Myton Diversion, located approximately 43 river miles above the confluence with the Green River and does not currently allow fish to move from the lower reaches of the Duchesne River into the upper reaches of the Duchesne River.

Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture
Historically, Nash Stream (NH) was known as a high quality wild Brook Trout stream that provided exceptional angling opportunities. Unfortunately, in 1969, the dam used to release water from Nash Bog Pond for log drives failed, sending a torrent of water akin to the 500-year flood event down Nash Stream. Immediately thereafter and in response to the dam failure, stretches of Nash Stream were straightened and its banks made higher by bulldozers. Consequently, much of the instream and riparian habitat was altered to the detriment of wild Brook Trout and other fish species. Additionally, many essential Brook Trout spawning tributaries were culverted with undersized pipes that impeded fish passage and/or have led to geomorphic instability.

With some help, O’dell Spring Creek is bouncing back to life. A 12 mile portion of spring-fed stream was heavily channelized in the 1950’s to drain the riparian wetlands and improve agricultural opportunities. Now the creek is being restored to a high-quality stream by reshaping the natural stream course and returning the floodplains to riparian wetlands. O’dell Spring Creek is no small stream—contributing over 200 cubic feet per second to the mainstem Madison River, one of Montana’s premier blue-ribbon trout fisheries. It is also an important spawning site for several species of trout.

Through restoration of 1 acre of tidal marsh habitat in the Bennett Bayou Marsh, which had been impacted by Hurricane Katrina and urban development, this project will benefit multiple Gulf species including red drum, brown and white shrimp, Gulf sturgeon, speckled trout, and Atlantic croaker among others. For more information contact Scott Robinson at 770/361-5639.

The restoration of Bennett Bayou Marsh was completed in 2006 and plans to continue monitoring the area and leading educational programs of this work are on task. (Outcome: 1 acre of restored tidal wetland).

Project Submission by: The Fishers and Farmers Partnership
Agricultural landowners in Peno Creek Priority Watershed (Salt River Basin) are voluntarily installing best management practices to meet NFHP/FFP goals through water quality improvement and habitat protection. Best management practices will reduce erosion, sedimentation, and nutrient loading. Some of these actions include installing alternative drinking sources and stream crossings, fencing cattle out of the stream, reforestation of the riparian corridor, streambank stabilization or other aquatic habitat restoration, and the establishment of cover crops to improve soil health. Stakeholders will continue to be consulted to guide long-term community watershed efforts with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Practices are installed by landowners and contractors under MDC guidance and are guaranteed in place for at least 10 years.

Located in Pierce County, Wisconsin, Pine Creek is a direct tributary of the Mississippi River, discharging into Lake Pepin, a 303d-listed impaired stream section. Upland and stream habitat work in the Pine Creek watershed will also have a beneficial effect on the Mississippi River. Past agricultural and logging activities have contributed significant sediment loads to Pine Creek and Lake Pepin. Sediment deposits have buried springs and caused Pine Creek to braid and meander wildly. Suitable depth, current velocity, bottom substrate, and overhead habitat are limiting for the native brook trout.

California Fish Passage Forum
The purpose of this project is to restore access to the upper reaches of Pinole Creek for the current population of Central California Coast Steelhead by modifying the existing box culverts where Pinole Creek passes under Interstate Highway 80 (I-80). Habitat assessments conducted on Pinole Creek in 2009 indicate sufficient habitat to support anadromous steelhead spawning and rearing if passage issues at the I-80 culvert are remedied. This project will improve access to nearly 7 miles of documented quality steelhead spawning and rearing habitat on the main stem of Pinole Creek.

Project Nomination by: The Pacific Marine and Estuarine Partnership
The Qwuloolt (Qwuloolt means “marsh” in the Lushootseed language) Estuary is located within the Snohomish River floodplain about three miles upstream from its outlet to Puget Sound. Historically, the area was tidal marsh and forest scrub-shrub habitat, interlaced by tidal channels, mudflats, and streams. The project area was cut off from the natural influence of the Snohomish River and Salish Sea tides by levees and drained by ditches instead of stream channels. Prior to the breach, the area was characterized mostly by a monoculture of invasive reed canary grass instead of native estuarine vegetation, and warm water invasive fishes and amphibians. Through the cooperation of its many partners, this project has returned some of the historic and natural influences of the river and tides to the Qwuloolt area.

The Rio Grande, which runs through the heart of the northern Chihuahuan Desert in the Big Bend region of Texas, is the centerpiece of an emerging bi-national system of lands dedicated to conservation.
Rio Grande tributary watersheds, such as Terlingua and Alamito creeks, are important spawning and refuge areas for imperiled fishes, including the federally listed Rio Grande silvery minnow.

The Scoy and Staudinger’s Pond project is located in the Town of East Hampton, NY which is situated within the Peconic Estuary, an Estuary of National Significance on the easternmost tip of Long Island. The 310 acre Alewife Brook/ScoyPond coastal plain pond and kettle wetland complex is protected in and is one of only four major alewife spawning areas in the Peconics. Access to diadromous fish habitat in Alewife Brook and two creeks leading to Northwest Harbor have long been cut off by undersized and collapsed culverts.

Desert Fish Habitat Partnership
Shoshone pupfish are one of the most imperiled species in the Death Valley region due to their natural rarity, historic disruption of their habitats, lack of replication of the one remaining population, and genetic effects of small population size. Shoshone Spring and wetlands have been owned by one family for over 50 years. Endemic Shoshone pupfish were considered extinct by 1969, but rediscovered in a ditch near the springs in 1986. A single pond was built and stocked with 75 of these fish, believed to be the last of their kind. The purpose of the project was to construct two new additional habitats, one secluded in a mesquite bosque, and one in a landscaped tourist area. The project secured the existence of Shoshone pupfish in their native range far into the future, and will educate the public about their importance. The project quadrupled the habitat area occupied by endemic Shoshone pupfish, benefiting the entire known population in the one spring, springbrook, and spring supported riparian system where they naturally occur.

Through reconnection of 2 miles of intact habitat and restoration of 65 acres of upland and riparian habitat, this project will restore 6 miles of brook trout habitat in the headwaters of the creek.

Slated to be completed in 2011, there has been considerable progress made in the Smith Creek headwater restoration which will restore riparian and upland pastures to bottomland and upland forests. So far, a total of four miles of stream have been restored along with 65 acres of riparian forest. Cattle fencing has also been installed to protect the creek.

This project will restore 2.1 miles of in-stream habitat, completing restoration of the entire 6.3 miles of Sough Bog Stream. This restoration benefits brook trout, as well as many other important species.

In 2007 the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture completed the final leg of a 6.3 mile restoration project in South Bog Stream. This two miles project included stream reconstruction for brook trout and other important species. (Outcome: 6.3 miles restored).

Two phases of this project have been completed to date recreating riffle-pool complexes.

Even in the best of times, good habitat for trout is a scarce commodity in northeastern Utah. But for the Bonneville cutthroat trout, Utah’s state fish, a little more habitat is about to be accessible. The Bonneville cutthroat is one of 14 recognized subspecies of Cutthroat trout native to the western United States. Once also found in Idaho, Wyoming and Nevada, the fish is now limited to small isolated populations in the headwaters of mountain streams and lakes of Utah’s Bonneville Drainage Basin. Recent declines in the population have been attributed to habitat loss and impacts from introduced nonnative rainbow trout. The status of the species is now being reviewed to determine if it should be listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

Historic deep mine activities along the stream have resulted in chronic Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) into the stream. AMD along with acid deposition have depressed the brook trout and aquatic life in this 4-mile stretch due to low PH, high aluminum, and low alkalinity. In addition, the stream bank shows major erosion along one 300-foot stretch. The primary objective of this project is to mitigate the sources of AMD with Limestone beds, and mitigate the acid deposition with limestone sand dosing, Restoring the pH and alkalinity to allow for a renewed brook trout population and overall aquatic life restoration along the four-mile stretch of the South Fork.

This project seeks to reduce sediment input and restore riparian and in-stream habitat along South Pine and in order to improve brook trout and slimy sculpin habitat.

2006: In August of 2006, 25 volunteers helped reslope 500 ft of bank on South Pine Creek. Bankhides were placed and topped with rock and dirt. Volunteers help lay down ralanka fabric and plant prairie cord grass plugs, native prairie grass and forb seed. Also, 7-acres of riparian zone were burned to stimulate prairie plant growth.

This project is designed to install a rotary drumfish screen at a diversion on St. Charles Creek and stabilize adjacent stream banks through sloping, armoring with rock and willow planting to improve fish passage past the diversion both upstream and downstream for migrating fish..

This particular project is the second NFHAP funded project implemented at St. Charles Creek.

In the heart of the White Mountains in eastern Arizona lives a long-time resident—found no where else in the world—the Apache trout. Like the Native American Tribe it is named after, the Apache trout has persevered through rapid habitat changes since the late 1800s. First the species was over harvested from the abundant creeks and streams by settlers moving through Arizona to California and other parts of the West. Next, its streams were altered through unsustainable land use practices such as over grazing, clear-cutting timber stands, and unnatural fire regimes. And to top it off, the settlers brought with them fish species not naturally found in the mountains of Arizona—rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout, among others. These new fish species out-competed, hybridized, and preyed on the native Apache trout.

Western Native Trout Initiative
Sun Creek originates on the southern slopes of Crater Lake National Park (CLNP) and was historically a tributary to the Wood River in the Upper Klamath Basin. Due to agricultural land use there have been extensive channel alterations over the last century and Sun Creek is no longer connected to the Wood River. A population of federally threatened bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) inhabits Sun Creek and with aggressive management from CLNP, increased in abundance ten-fold in the last two decades. This project will reconnect Sun Creek to the Wood River, creating a migratory corridor for the isolated bull trout population and expanding available habitat for redband trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) already present in the Wood River. To accomplish this objective, a new Sun Creek stream corridor will be established, flow in the new channel will be increased by permanently transferring water instream, and diversions will be screened to prevent fish entrainment in irrigation ditches. This project represents a highly successful collaboration between federal, state, tribal, non-profit, and private entities.

Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo are located in the White River Hills region of the Ozark Plateau along the Missouri-Arkansas border. At conservation pool, Table Rock Lake encompasses 43,100 acres with 745 miles of shoreline, and Lake Taneycomo covers just over 2,000 acres. Table Rock Lake is the second largest of five reservoirs in the upper White River drainage basin which covers over 5,000 square miles in both Missouri and Arkansas. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates the recreational use of the lake at between 40 and 50 million visitor visits annually with the economic value of the fishery estimated at $41 million (1997 estimate). Along with the Branson tourism industry, Table Rock and the other White River impoundments are responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars pumped into the local economies.

Project Submission by: The Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership
Table Rock Lake was nominated as a "Legacy Project" which have made a significant impact on fish habitat conservation. These projects are selected from previous years Waters to Watch projects and help to highlight the National Fish Habitat Partnership as it celebrates its 10-year Anniversary in 2016.

Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo are located in the White River Hills region of the Ozark Plateau along the Missouri-Arkansas border. At conservation pool, Table Rock Lake encompasses 43,100 acres with 745 miles of shoreline, and Lake Taneycomo covers just over 2,000 acres. Table Rock Lake is the second largest of five reservoirs in the upper White River drainage basin which covers over 5,000 square miles in both Missouri and Arkansas. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates the recreational use of the lake at between 40 and 50 million visitor visits annually with the economic value of the fishery estimated at $41 million (1997 estimate). Along with the Branson tourism industry, Table Rock and the other White River impoundments are responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars pumped into the local economies.

The historical loss of mangroves along the eastern coastline of MacDill Air Force Base has left the shoreline exposed and subject to severe erosion. Construction of near-shore oyster reefs along the coastline reduces wave energy, encourages sediment build-up, and restores native vegetation, such as marsh grasses and, eventually, mangroves. The inter-tidal oyster reefs improve marine habitat diversity and help restore natural vegetative barriers to stabilize coastal sediments.

Degradation of stream channels has contributed to a 95% decline in native Yellowstone cutthroat trout (YCT) numbers in the Teton River. Teton Creek, the largest of the Teton River headwater tributaries, is critical to YCT recovery since it is one of the only tributaries in Teton Valley that still has a YCT spawning run. Teton Creek also produces more juvenile YCT than any other tributary. Over a mile of Teton Creek was severely damaged when a developer straightened, widened, and dredged the stream.

Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership/
Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership

During the past two years, both SARP and ACFHP have supported marsh restoration/living shoreline projects on the Tolomato River in the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTMNERR). These adjacent projects are located on the southern portion of the Guana Peninsula and are helping to create a contiguous swath of restored marsh that is improving and enhancing fish habitat, preventing shoreline erosion, and fostering opportunities for community stewardship and involvement that will provide benefits for years to come. They are also helping to address national conservation goals, regional habitat priorities and coast wide conservation objectives identified by SARP and ACFP, and that are found in the Southeast Aquatic Habitat Plan (SAHP).

A highly popular destination among trout anglers in southeastern Minnesota is Trout Run Creek, a 13-mile spring-fed stream that empties into the north branch of the Root River in Fillmore County, Minnesota. The stream harbors quality size brown trout, mottled and slimy sculpin, and American brook lamprey. Trout Run is situated in a narrow valley where the stream and associated floodplain are often confined by bedrock outcroppings. The landscape in this focus watershed is dominated by row crops and grazing cattle—contributing to land erosion and sedimentation in the streambed. As a consequence, several reaches of Trout Run are non-characteristically wide and shallow, with stream velocities insufficient to scour fine sediments. These areas lack sufficient habitat for spawning, feeding, and resting, as well as overhead cover, which provides security for adult trout. The Hiawatha Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and the Fillmore County Soil and Water Conservation District are helping landowners implement best management practices within the watershed to reduce soil loss and runoff to Trout Run Creek.

Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership
The Twelvemile Creek watershed encompasses 28 miles of salmon and other fish-bearing streams as well as 59 miles of additional streams covering an area just under 20 square miles in central Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska. Logging practices that took place during the era when there was little protection for stream habitat and adjacent riparian vegetation left Twelvemile Creek Watershed in an impaired state. These practices included clear-cutting riparian corridors (areas adjacent to streams), removing large wood from the stream channels, extracting gravel from the stream to build roads, and yarding logs over the stream banks and through riparian vegetation.

Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership
The primary project objective was to remove the existing pipe and re-create a meandering stream system along with the associated wetland community down to the Hillsborough River. The Hillsborough River flows into Tampa Bay, an EPA priority watershed. In addition, the spring boil area was expanded to its former size by the removal of the concrete wall coupled with excavation of the banks to expand the wetland community, this newly restored wetland area was planted with native wetland vegetation. In spite of these anthropogenic activities, the spring boil area is very healthy with crystal clear waters that support native vegetation including ell grass which is unique to the Hillsborough River (while it is a native species, scientists are unaware of any other ell grass populations within the lower river system). These activities now allow fish to seek refuge in the spring run, provide wetland (estuarine habitat, specifically oligohaline environs) within the urban core of the city, and provide a unique area for the citizens to enjoy, as well as providing educational opportunities.

This project will focus on riparian restoration, including two miles of stream frontage for the brook trout and other species.

More than 2.8 miles and 12.4 acres of stream frontage was restored at two sites in the Upper Browns River in 2007 through fencing livestock, establishing alternative waters systems, and by planting native trees and shrubs. (Outcome: 2.8 miles stream restored, 12.4 acres of riparian habitat restored)

This joint project will restore over 3 miles of riparian habitat along Big Rock Creek within the Duck River Basin for Cumberland monkeyface.

2007: 2.2 miles of riparian habitat were restored by placement of livestock excluding fencing along Big Rock Creek, a subwatershed of the Duck River. An additional 1.2 acres of habitat were also restored through the planting of a vegetative riparian buffer. This project extends an initiative by The Nature Conservancy that has installed over 33,000 feet of exclusion fencing and 20 alternative water sources.

(Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership)
Conservation Action: The Tippecanoe Watershed Foundation created the Healthy Shorelines Initiative in 2011 to improve the quality and health of shorelines and lakes in the Upper Tippecanoe River Watershed, one of the Partnership’s priority watersheds. The Foundation provides cost-share funds to landowners for shoreline projects that reduce erosion and nutrient loading from the shoreline, reduce wave action, and reduce scouring and re-suspension of bottom sediments, actions aligning with several of The National Fish Habitat Partnership’s objectives.

The lower reaches of Waipa Stream are becoming increasingly degraded due to a dense overgrowth of an invasive riparian tree known as hau (Hibiscus tiliaceus). The dense hau thicket impedes upstream migration by migratory native fish and invertebrates because of disorientation due to diminished stream flow, increased darkness due to dense foliage, and increased exposure to predation. Hau is widespread and this project will work to remediate these problems.

(National Fish Habitat Partnership – Mat-Su Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership)
Wasilla Creek is one of three main creeks draining the core area of the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, and is home to five species of Pacific salmon. Many partner organizations are working on projects to assure sufficient amounts of clean water, continuous fish passage and overall healthy fish habitats will be maintained within the Wasilla Creek drainage. Significant efforts have been completed and others are in progress to protect and restore salmon habitat in Wasilla Creek.

This project is intended to protect native fishes and improve water use efficiency for water companies in the Weber River drainage. It will re-connect 17.5 total river miles and allow native trout and sucker species to pass one mainstem diversion and two culvert barriers in two tributaries.

Habitat fragmentation is the primary threat to the persistence of the bonneville cutthroat trout population. These barriers have fragmented mainstem and spawning habitats. Restoring connectivity at these sites is a critical step towards improving the resiliency and genetic diversity of this population.

Project Submission by: The Desert Fish Habitat Partnership and the Western Native Trout Initiative
The Weber River was nominated as a "Legacy Project" which have made a significant impact on fish habitat conservation. These projects are selected from previous years Waters to Watch projects and help to highlight the National Fish Habitat Partnership as it celebrates its 10-year Anniversary in 2016.

This project was funded to protect native fish species and improve water use efficiency for water companies in the Weber River drainage, Utah. It re-connects 17.5 river miles and allows native Bonneville Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarki utah) and Bluehead sucker (Catostomus discobolus) to pass one mainstem diversion and two culvert barriers that had fragmented mainstem and spawning habitats in two tributaries. Both Bluehead sucker and Bonneville Cutthroat Trout have experienced extensive population declines and range contraction. In the Weber River, Bluehead sucker occur in three remaining fragmented reaches with the strongest population in the Weber River confined below the diversion structure. Allowing passage around this diversion provides Bluehead sucker access to canyon habitat.

With stream connectivity functionally restored to the main-stem of the Machias River (an important migratory corridor for Eastern Brook Trout and endangered Atlantic salmon that has extensive conservation easements in place), current restoration needs are focused predominately in its major headwater tributaries, including the West Branch. A range-wide Conservation Success Index, indicates that the West Branch Machias River sub-watershed ranks very high in terms of both habitat quality for native Eastern brook trout and future security from anthropogenic threats such as urbanization.

This stream restoration project through the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture, under the National Fish Habitat Action Plan, is aimed at restoring fish passage and natural ecosystem function to high priority sub-watersheds. Since 2005, project SHARE (project partner) has primarily focused its on-the ground activities around restoring all sites with connectivity issues (i.e. broken links between life cycle requirements and habitat/food resources) that affect endangered Atlantic salmon, native Eastern brook trout, and other co-evolved fishes within high priority tributary systems draining the Machias River. This approach hinges on the recognition that stream processes begin in small headwater streams and influence the entire downstream watercourse and its inhabitants.

Tropical Storm Irene devastated much of the upper reaches of the White River. Rochester was one of those towns ravaged by sudden and historic rain falls that swept across Vermont on August 2011. Roads and infrastructure where destroyed by the unprecedented stream flow. The town was stranded from the surrounding communities. There is still much work left to be done to secure infrastructure throughout affected parts of the state.

The mission of the project is to restore and protect a degraded section of essential brook trout habitat on Whitethorn Creek, a tributary of Thorn Creek on the South Branch of the Potomac River. Riparian restoration and natural stream channel restoration will decrease temperatures and provide cover and holding habitat in this wild brook trout system located in the headwaters of the South Branch of the Potomac.

Coldwater trout streams on private land in the Potomac watershed are often impaired due to nutrients and sediment from non-point sources. Thanks to significant involvement from local landowners, this project will restore and protect habitat for native Eastern brook trout, and will significantly reduce non-point source runoff affecting high quality streams and the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Aquatic habitat in Williams Run has been severely damaged since coal mining activities produced acid mine drainage into the stream. Water conditions were extremely degraded with a very low pH, no alkalinity, and both iron and aluminum present. This point-source pollution left the stream uninhabitable for brook trout or other aquatic life. With funding provided through the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture, the South Sandy Creek Watershed Association is working with a host of other public and private partners to bring Williams Run back to life. Construction of a passive limestone bed in 2008 will provide the necessary treatment measures to restore water quality conditions to a healthy level and allow aquatic species, such as the brook trout, to return to Williams Run.