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Goodwin Creek
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Goodwin Creek

Aquatic habitats of a 1-km long reach of Goodwin Creek, a channelized sand and gravel bed warmwater stream draining a 21 km2 watershed in northwest Mississippi, were rehabilitated. Although a series of grade control weirs and bank protection works had been constructed prior to restoration, sediment production from channel erosion remained high(>1,200 t km-2 yr-1), and aquatic habitats were of poor value.

Rehabilitation works were designed to be compatible with existing channel stabilization works and economic criteria. Stone was added to extend existing groins across the base flow channel to create 18 small weirs.

Rehabilitation increased pool habitat availability, overall physical heterogeneity, riparian vegetation, shade, and woody debris density. Following rehabilitation, mean width, depth, and velocity exhibited changes of +56%, +150%, and -56%, respectively, despite discharge levels that averaged 43% lower during data collection periods. Pool area increased to 72% of water area.

Fish response to rehabilitation measures was modest but distinct. Before rehabilitation cyprinids and centrarchids comprised 74% and 11%, respectively, of numerical catch, but 32% and 55% following rehabilitation.