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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Fish Utilization of Riparian Habitats Created by Erosion Control Structures

Authors
item Smiley, Peter
item KNIGHT, SCOTT
item Cooper, Charles
item Kallies, Kenneth

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Bed lowering due to channel incision severs the natural floodplain/stream interaction and results in alteration of the physical and biological features of the riparian zone. Lateral inflow over high unstable banks, often a result of channel incision, may initiate gully erosion within adjacent riparian zones and agricultural fields. Field-scal lde control structures (drop pipes) are utilized to control gully erosion occurring adjacent to incised streams undergoing restoration as part of the Demonstration Erosion Control (DEC) project in the Yazoo River Basin. Two types of aquatic habitats which may result from drop pipe installation are field level wetlands and stream level pools. We collected fish and habitat data from selected field level wetlands and stream level pools located in North Central Mississippi from May to September 1996. Field level wetlands contained a total of eight species from 3803 captures, while 22 species from 668 captures occurred within stream level pools. Regression analysis indicated that within both habitat types, increases in pool area resulted in increases in species richness and numbers per unit effort, while increases in pool depth only resulted in increases in species richness. The creation of aquatic habitats within impacted riparian zones may be an important step towards mitigating the detrimental effects of channel incision. These environmental improvements occurred as a result of standard installation practices which focus on erosion control, not habitat creation. Altering the installation design to facilitate habitat creation should result in aquatic habitats which will provide greater benefits to fish and other wildlife.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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