Silver Creek Bank Stabilization and Habitat Rehabilitation Project
Kalamazoo Valley Chapter Trout Unlimited
Basin Program Funds:
Previous cattle access along a one quarter mile section of Silver Creek has
resulted in weakened streambanks. Although an electric fence has been installed
to prevent further cattle access to the stream, many large pieces of the bank
continue to break off with each rain event, adding many tons of sedimentation
to the creek each time. The Natural Resource Conservation District estimated
that approximately 141 tons per year of soil are lost at this location. As
a result, water quality, aquatic habitat and stream flow have been impaired.
The Silver Creek Stream Bank Stabilization and Habitat Rehabilitation project
is a cooperative effort between Trout Unlimited, the Fly Fishing Federation,
Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Indiana Department of Natural Resources,
the Natural Resources Conservation Service and a major landowner along Silver
Creek. The goal of the project is to stabilize eroding banks and provide fish
habitat on a one quarter mile section of Silver Creek located about three
quarter miles upstream from the confluence of the Kalamazoo River. Kalamazoo
River is a designated Area of Concern under Michigan Department of Environmental
Quality's Remedial Action Program.
Silver Creek is a small second order tributary to the Kalamazoo
River. The river is estimated to be 5.4 miles in length and perhaps southern
Michigan's finest trout resource. Numerous springs erupt along the entire
course of the stream and contribute to the good water quality of the stream
The Great Lakes Basin Program is spending $5,500 over a 12
month period to: 1) demonstrate various bank stabilization techniques on 16
sites along the one quarter mile section of Silver Creek; and, 2) establish
over 500 square feet of new fish habitat.
As a result of the coordinated effort between the landowners, the KVCTU, the
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality-Fisheries Division, and other supporting
groups the following items were accomplished during the 1995 project year:
- All sixteen project areas along the one quarter mile section were completed.
Follow-up work and evaluation during 1996, indicated that all sections
were fully repaired and function as designed.
- Bank stabilization has resulted in an 85% reduction of soil sedimentation
(119 tons). Banks have re-vegetated themselves, and show little or no
signs of previous damage.
- Over fifty participants worked to complete the project. For many of
the supporting organizations this was their first hands-on experience
with a stream improvement project. Groups learned how to stabilize the
banks and provide added fish habitat by installing half-logs and lunker
- Early fish population studies of the 1/4 mile section indicate an increase
in the number and size of fish. This is encouraging since there has been increased
fishing pressure, and both control sections indicate decreased fish populations.
Contact: Ed Hoover, (616) 456-1521