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Tuesday, January 26 • 2:00pm - 2:20pm
A Reconnaissance Survey of The Effects of Sediment Traps on Michigan Streams

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AUTHORS: Troy Zorn, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division; Todd Wills, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division

ABSTRACT: Excess sand bedload can significantly degrade salmonid habitat and populations. Successful use of sediment traps to restore habitat and salmonid populations on two Michigan streams in the early 1980s led to application of traps at well over 100 coldwater streams in Michigan, and many rivers throughout the USA, within a decade. Unfortunately, little quantitative evaluation has occurred other than anecdotal observations for some traps. We conducted a broad-scale survey of 65 Michigan stream reaches with sediment traps by collecting data along transects upstream and downstream of the traps to assess downstream changes in substrate composition, channel depth, and channel stability in response to sediment traps. We found that recent applications of sediment traps (usually as stand-alone instream habitat treatments) had no significant effect on downstream substrate, thalweg depth, or bank stability conditions in the reaches studied. Specific stream power estimates at the 10% annual exceedence flow were positively correlated with the preponderance of gravel and coarser substrate in stream reaches. We estimated specific stream power at the 10% annual exceedence flow for all Michigan streams reaches, and used information to identify areas where sediment traps could potentially destabilize channels. Our study and previous assessments of sediment traps suggest that managers carefully consider their river and all potential management options when deciding if sediment traps will provide the best return on their investment.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 2:00pm - 2:20pm EST
Gerald Ford