Wheatley River Improvement Group, Inc.
WRIG Habitat Enhancement and Natural Meander Pattern Recovery
This project took place in the Wheatley River watershed and its subwatersheds including Luke’s Creek, Chapel Creek, Cymbria, Oyster Bed Bridge, and Hornes Creek. The purpose of this project was to enhance the habitat in our watershed by making lasting efforts to add forest cover, invest in educational opportunities, and rehabilitate sections of stream that are crucial brook trout habitat. Stream restoration and habitat enhancement efforts took place throughout this geographic area. Our major project component was the work to recover the natural meander pattern and pool-and-riffle sequence, which was conducted upstream of Rackham’s Community Pond on the Wheatley River. This portion of the Wheatley River was once part of the old pond basin. The sediment load is high and the channel is completely straight and shallow. Three deflectors were built upstream of the Rackham’s Community pond. Two deflectors were constructed using larch beams to create a log crib. The bottom was lined with filter fabric and brush to keep the rock that was placed in the center from sinking out the bottom. The upstream deflector was placed in coordination with a tree-trunk and rock deflector in order to pinch the channel, speeding up the current and adding depth to a shallow and uniform area. These deflectors help to narrow and deepen the channel and directly improve brook trout habitat. Placement design and planning was based on discussions and site visits with local ecology and fisheries experts, and construction was implemented with the help of other watershed groups that have completed similar projects.