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Harland Creek
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Harland Creek

Harland Creek, Mississippi, a fourth-order, meandering, sand and gravel-bed stream drains about 80 km2 of hilly, mostly forested lands. In the 4-km-lomg study reach, bank heights varied from 1.6 to 12 m, channel widths averaged about 35 m, and bed slope averaged about 0.0012. Sinuosity was about 2.0. Comparison of airphotos taken in 1955 and 1986 indicated extensive lateral migration and avulsion of meanders during that interval. Bed material was a mixture of sand and medium gravel with D50 between 0.5 and 13 mm. Well-defined pools occurred on the outside of bends adjacent to large sandy point bars, and there were one or more riffles between bends. Water quality was adequate to support aquatic life. Suspended sediment yield measured at a station about 6 km downstream averaged 1,673 metric tons km-2 for 1985-1991.

Concave banks of bends in a 4-km reach of Harland Creek were stabilized in 1991-1994 using three techniques: stone spur dikes (bendway weirs), willow posts, and longitudinal stone toe.

Results of the first year of monitoring show that reaches stabilized with stone toe tended to be shallower and narrower with higher velocity and more sand than spur or post reaches.

Fish numbers were higher in reaches stabilized with spurs. Species composition and relative abundance were similar for the three bank treatments. Two cyprinids comprised 65% to 72% the catch from each type of bank treatment, and species composition and relative abundance were similar for all three bank treatments.