Masters Defense Seminar
Habitat Quality Following a Channel Reconfiguration Project: Stewart River, MN
Abstract: This study looks at connectivity and habitat quality in the floodplain of the Stewart River reconfiguration project. The realignment included construction of seven ponds which presented very different morphologies and connectivity with the channel. The 2015 realignment along the North Shore of Lake Superior, Minnesota was primarily completed to decrease erosion, improve floodplain connectivity, decrease width-to depth ratios, and create fish habitat. Habitat quality (water elevations, temperature, and dissolved oxygen) data were collected within three years following the realignment. Constructed ponds generally did not provide suitable fish habitat as they were either too warm, contained insufficient dissolved oxygen, or were inaccessible. Pond temperatures correlated with canopy cover and pond geometry, while dissolved oxygen levels were primarily related to connectivity with the channel. Water elevations in several channel locations and five ponds indicated that the river peaked earlier and receded slightly quicker than ponds following precipitation events, with ponds providing limited short-term water storage to feed the channel. Overall, the Stewart River reconfiguration project did not generate substantial long-term water storage in floodplain ponds or high-quality fish habitats in most pond configurations.
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Meeting ID: 952 3836 6250