Recent and Ongoing Projects
Woody Debris Management:
In most cases, Woody debris is an important and integral part of the ecology of a stream and the natural processes that occur, providing physical habitat and structure, stability, etc. However, within our urban landscape where we see unnatural high flashy flows, we see a lot of transport of wood, which can lead to large unnatural log and debris jams. These log jams can lead to hazards to infrastructure such as bridges, blockages of flows, barriers to passage, and increased erosion of adjacent banks and habitat. It is these sites where management is needed to minimize the negative impacts of the woody debris while maintain the beneficial impacts that it provides.
Starting in 2015, CRCCP started a woody Debris management initiative in Paint Creek. This initiative is to understand what the status is of woody debris is within the system, inventory all woody debris that occurs, identify and prioritize any large woody debris log jams that are causing negative impacts to the system and ecology, and organize projects and cleanups that address these sites.
CRWC monitors temperatures in streams to better understand their potential to support aquatic species, especially those that depend on cold temperatures, such as trout. In recent years, we have been working with the Department and Natural Resources looking at Trout Creek, a tributary to Paint Creek, to evaluate the effectiveness of the use of a bottom-draw dam at the impoundment that feeds much of the tributary. This project is on-going.
In addition we have started to monitor Gallagher Creek, another tributary to Paint Creek. This stream has historically held Brook Trout until recent years. In working with partnering groups, we are currently collecting the data needed to better understand this system and whether it can still support these native trout.
Paint Creek Monitoring:
CRWC is working with Oakland University through a Clinton Valley Trout Unlimited Grant to install a continuous monitoring station on Paint Creek that will provide real time water quality data including, stage height, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity. Anyone can click the link below (coming soon) and see what current conditions are like within Paint Creek.
Bank Stabalization and Angler Access:
Flashy systems like we see in the Clinton River watershed in addition to high use in access areas can lead to bank erosion and increased sediments in the stream. This input of sediments can impact habitat by increasing tubidity, filling pool habitat, covering important spawning habitat, etc.
CRCPP works closely with TU chapters to improve bank stabalization through native vegeation planting and improved angler access. Recently, projects include installation of stairs at access sites, planting of grasses and shrubs to stabalize slopes, installation of core logs and erosion control blankets to add slope stabalization along Paint Creek and Clinton River.
Goldengate Barrier/Dam removal:
In 2016, CRCCP volunteers removed concrete slabs and debris that were creating a dam and barrier within Paint Creek near Goldengate Rd. The large pieces of concrete debris were broken up and removed from the site. This debris had been placed in the river years ago without permits. The sites, especially in times of low flow, created a barrier for fish passage and the barrier inhibited the natural flow processes of Paint Creek. This project was done in cooperation with the Michigan DNR and DEQ.