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Fish and Wildlife Habitat Restorations –

Milwaukee Estuary AOC

2015 Clean Rivers, Clean Lake Conference
Andrew T. Struck, Director
Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department
Beth Wentzel, PE
Inter-Fluve

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Ecological Division – Fish Passage & Habitat Program
Planning and
Parks
Department

Golf Division

Tourism
Division

Fragmentation
& Impediment
Remediation

Planning
Division

Ecological
Division

Trails Division

Bird
Conservation

Fish Passage
Program

Invasive
Species

Monitoring

Habitat
Restoration

Education and
Outreach

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Parks,
Recreation, and
Culture Division

Reporting

Watershed-Wide Conservation Approach
ADAPTIVE
MANAGEMENT
Planning

PROJECT

PROGRAM

Example

Landowner / Measurable
Impediment Outcomes

Metrics Socioeconomic
/ Biological

Research / Design Immediate
Needs

Permitting /
Design &
Engineering
Criteria

Long term /
Watershed
Scale

Level of Effort
/ Priority –
Inventories /
GIS modeling

Implementation / Objectives
Program Delivery

Construct
Fish Passage
/ Remove
Impediment

Multiple
Objectives
to Achieve
Goal

Dams and
Other Barriers
(Public Works /
Cons. Corps)

Monitoring /
Evaluation

Opportunity

Example

Demonstrate Target
Success
Species

Identify Next Beneficial Use
Steps
Impairments

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Theme – “Making Connections”
Renewing “Old” Connections
• Lake Michigan
• Milwaukee River
• Milwaukee Estuary AOC
• Tributary Streams
• Spawning and Rearing Habitat

Ozaukee County
Elected Officials
Municipalities
Businesses
Schools
NGOs
Citizens/Landowners
Volunteers

Forming “New” Connections
With Non-Traditional
Stakeholders Through
Collaborative Partnerships
Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Fish Passage Program Summary
• $10 Million in EcologicallyFocused Funding
• Impediments inventories and
remediations
• 51 tributary streams

666 impediments inventoried
250 impediments removed or
remediated

• 4 main-stem dams
• Habitat Restoration

Fish and Wildlife GIS – Based
Decision Support Tool for Prioritizing
Habitat and Restoration Activities
Ongoing large scale habitat
restoration activities (Mole and Ulao
Creeks)

• Environmental Monitoring


Water Quality Monitoring
Sediment Sampling
Fisheries Monitoring

• Education and Outreach
• Reporting

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Fish Passage Program – Ecological Impacts
•250 Impediments Removed
–49 Culverts Replaced or Removed
–8 Dams Removed or Remediated
–193 Other Impediments Removed

• M-T Fishway Monitoring
– 36 Fish Species, Multiple Wildlife Species
– Several Citizen Reports

• Water Quality Monitoring

•131 Stream Miles Reconnected
– 84,169 Continuous Monitoring Samples
•8,043 Acres of Wetlands Reconnected – 150 Grab Samples
•Increased abundance of target species • Sediment Contamination Monitoring
–Documented fish reproduction after
impediment removals and presence of
target species at monitoring sites

– 411 Samples Analyzed
– 135 PCB Locations Identified

•Impact on status of listed species or
species of concern
–7 rare and/or imperiled species
documented

•Changes in recreational angling
–Creel pre-survey completed (post-survey
anticipated)
–County-wide tourism increase
Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Aquatic Connectivity – Linear and Lateral
• Much of SE Wisconsin’s desirable
aquatic habitat has been lost or
significantly altered

• Quality natural aquatic habitat remain
and are protected, but are ecologically
isolated
• Creating aquatic habitat is expensive
and typically inferior
• Linear Impediments and Connectivity
– Passability within rivers and streams

• Lateral Impediments and Connectivity
– Connections from rivers and streams
to adjacent wetlands, floodplains,
and associated habitat
Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Northern Pike Life Cycle & Habitat Fragmentation

Eggs

Develop in
wetlands and
streams

Spawning

Larvae
Critical
passage
barrier

Migrate up from
Lake Michigan

Critical
passage
barrier

Adults

Drift downstream
to Lake Michigan

Fry
Juveniles

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Native Fish Swimming Performance
• Northern Pike – Target
Species
– Good for short distance
“bursts” < 15 sec.
– Fair for “sustained”
movements in velocities
< 2 ft/s
– Poor for “prolonged”
swimming
– Very Poor jumpers
– Require Low velocity
< 2 - 3 ft/s)

– Short jumps < 8 inches
– Frequent rest areas

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Impediment Inventory and Remediation
Fragmentation &
Impediment
Remediation

Linear
Connectivity

Dams and LargeScale
Impediments

Small-Scale
Impediments

GIS Habitat Tool

Design,
Engineering and
Permitting

Conservation
Corps or
Volunteers

Landowner
Coordination

Local Force or
Publicly Bid
Construction

Dam Removals or
Fishways (Large
and Small)

Lateral
Connectivity

Culverts/Bridges

Log Jams and
Debris Deposits

Engineering,
Design &
Permitting

Invasive
Vegetation

Local Force or
Publicly Bid
Construction

Ford Crossings

Wetland
Restoration

Stream and
Floodplain
Restoration

Monitoring and
Management

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Large Dams on the Milwaukee River
Newburg Dam Removal (2012)

Bridge Street Dam Passive
Fishway (Designed 2009-2011)

Lime Kiln Dam Removal (2010)

Mequon-Thiensville Dam Passive
“Nature-like” Fishway (2010)

Dam removed or modified by others
Approximate AOC Boundaries

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Milwaukee River Mainstem Miles Reconnected
Lake Michigan to Mequon-Thiensville Fishway

20 miles

Mequon-Thiensville Fishway to Lime Kiln Dam

10 miles

Lime Kiln Dam to Bridge Street Dam

2 miles

32 miles
Bridge Street Dam to Newburg Dam

24.5 miles

Newburg Dam to Barton Dam (West Bend)

13 miles

37.5 miles
Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

“Large-Scale” Structural Impediments
• Stream Crossings
– Culverts traditionally designed
to pass water, not fish




Perched
Excessive velocities
Diffuse/low depth
Aggraded
Blocked with debris

Perched Culvert

– Stone ford crossings
– Channel constricting bridge
abutments
– Other “creative” crossings

• Dams

Excessive Velocities

– Large scale
– Low-head
Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Stream Crossing Design Considerations
• Design should consider:
– Preference given to:
• Clear span bridges
• Buried or bottomless single barrel
designs
• Structures in-filled with appropriate
material
• Stone ford crossings

– Bankfull width (1.2 x bf width ideal)
– No impact to the upstream
floodplain
• H&H modeling
• Accommodate a variety of flood flows,
climate change, etc.

– Fish swimming criteria (< 2% slope
preferred)
• FishXing Software
• USFS road and stream crossing design
methodology
Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Stream Crossing Design Considerations



Utilities
Stream alignment
Landowner and usage needs
Remediation vs full replacement
• Cross vanes, baffles, culvert isolation

– Structure size and type





Available equipment
Road fill/cover depth/ROW width
Side slopes
Headwalls/wingwalls
Depth of structure/substrate
Culvert slope (match stream grade)

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

“Small Scale” Non-Structural Impediments
• Impediments Include




Log Jams/Debris Jams
Sediment Aggradations
Invasive Vegetation
Pervious Fill Deposits
Railroad Ballast Deposits

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

GIS-Based Fish and Wildlife Decision Support Tool
• Program staff and partners are
developing and refining GIS Tools
to:
• Identify native fish and
wildlife Species of Local
Conservation Interest (SLCI)
• Identify critical habitats
important to ensuring the
survival of native fish and
wildlife, especially SLCI’s

• Guide habitat enhancement
projects for maximum
economic and ecological
value
Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Species Checklists
Table 3: Comparisons of Ozaukee County Species Rankings
Total #
Species

# State #
#
# State Listed
# SLCI that are
Listed SGCN SLCI that are not SLCI not State Listed

Mammals
Breeding Birds
Reptiles
Amphibians
Fish
Primary Burrowing
Crayfish

54
72
16
18
104
3

13
36
4
2
14
2

7
52
4
5
13
1

23
65
10
4
34
2

Mussels
Total

22
289

6
77

2
84

7
1
145 13

Group

4
1
2
1
4
0

14
29
8
3
24
0
2
80

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Species Data Mapped
Vetted occurrence records were
georeferenced:
a) Assigned coordinates with
precision estimates
b) Assigned year, vetting, and status
ranks
c) GIS layers delivered
d) Training provided on use

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Mapping Critical Habitat Over PRW’s
Example Matrix: Herp association scored 0-3

Aquatic Bed/Deep Marsh

Shallow Marsh <5 ac

Shallow Marsh 5 ac or
larger

Wetland Meadow

Wetland Forest broad lvd
deciduous

Wetland Forest
coniferous

Wetland Forest mixed

Wetland Shrub

Reed canarygrass
monoculture

Blanding's Turtle

Open Water

Wood Frog

Shrub

HERPS

Forest

Chorus Frog

Grassland

Species

Forage crops

Land CoverType*

Open Wetlands near
Grassland

1

3

1

2

0

2

3

3

3

1

1

1

2

2

Wetlands near
Woodlands

0

1

3

1

0

2

3

3

3

3

2

3

3

0

Wetland/Upland
Complex

1

3

3

2

1

3

3

3

2

3

2

3

3

1

Wetland Habitat Context

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Wildlife Matrix Habitat
Milwaukee River Basin
Cedar Creek
Watershed

Predicted
Species
Distribution
Potentia l Wood Frog Wetland Ha bitat
Potentia l Wood Frog Forest H abitat
Surfa ce Water
Watershed Boundary

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Wildlife Matrix Habitat
Milwaukee River Basin
Cedar Creek
Watershed

Add
PRWs
Suitable Wood Frog Wetland Habitat
Suitable Wood Frog Forest Habitat
Restorable Wood Frog Wetlands
Surface Water
Watershed Boundary

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

GIS-Based Fish and Wildlife Decision Support Tool

Mole Creek Habitat
Enhancement Project

Ulao Creek Habitat
Enhancement Project

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Using the Tool: Ulao Creek Project
Examine:
- existing conditions

- potentially restorable wetlands
- vetted species data

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Using the Tool: Ulao Creek Project
Examine models of potential species
habitat.
Species of Local Conservation Interest
identified as potentially enhanced:
Spotted Salamander
Central Newt
Butler’s Gartersnake
Blanding’s Turtle
Prairie Crayfish
American Beaver
Numerous fishes including:
Star-nosed Mole
Northern Pike
Least Weasel
Iowa Darter
Silver-haired Bat
Least Darter
Eastern Red Bat
Little Brown Bat
Northern Long-eared Bat
American Woodcock
Blue-winged Teal
Common Gallinule
Great Blue Heron
Red-shouldered Hawk
Sedge Wren
Willow Flycatcher
Migratory Bird Habitat

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

AOC Fish & Wildlife Population and Habitat Restoration Projects

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Ulao and Kaul Creek Current Conditions
• Channelized reaches (artificially straightened
for agricultural uses) provide poor habitat
• Linear sinuosity
• In-stream features are excessively wide and are
exclusively shallow runs with maximum water
depth
• Overwinter pool cover and spawning quality
Hydrologic connection
riffles are absent and substrate is dominated
by fine materials
• Canopy shade almost absent
• Channel is incised, diffuse and /or
hydrologically disconnected from floodplain
• Lack of recurring overbank flows prohibit
floodplain building and the former wetland
corridor lacks suitable overbank flood flows to
Hydrologic disconnection
sustain a diverse wetland plant and wildlife
community
Photo Credits: Will Wawrzyn, WDNR
Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Habitat Enhancement – Ulao and Kaul Creeks

Project Goal
– Rehabilitate the function and values associated with a
cold and/or warm stream ecosystem and floodplain
wetlands

Project Objectives
– Excavate a stable meandering stream plan form
– Increase stream length and sinuosity
– Decrease mean stream width, and increase effective
water depths and stream velocities (levees)
– Increase in-stream and bank cover for fish and wildlife,
emphasizing coarse woody debris in pools and
boulder retards in pools and glides
– Rehabilitate acres of wet deciduous forest and wet
meadow wetland currently in agricultural land use by
excavating connected wetlands and wetland scrapes
Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Habitat Enhancement – Ulao and Kaul Creeks

Project Objectives (cont)
– Increase duration of suitable hydro-period for
northern pike spawning
– Increase topographic diversity to improve
canopy shading - planting deciduous trees
and expanding shrub-carr areas
– Creation of additional habitat for birds, herps,
and other wildlife
– Increase the amount of pool and deep glide
and construct coarse substrate riffles for
lithophilic spawning fish and
macroinvertebrates

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Ulao Creek Habitat Enhancement Design
Beth Wentzel, PE
Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Project reach

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

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Emerald Ash Borer

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

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• Analog based approach
• Reference reach
• Empirical relationships

• Analytical

 a
Qc  
 c* ( s  1) D
 nS 7/6

Stream Geometry Design Approaches

1
5/3  1b


Analogs
Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

45.0
40.0

20.0

Radius of Curvature

Channel Width

18.0
16.0

35.0

14.0

30.0

12.0

25.0

10.0

20.0

8.0

15.0

6.0

10.0

4.0

5.0

y = 0.3737x + 4.228
R² = 0.769

2.0

y = 0.914x + 5.2188
R² = 0.806

0.0

0.0

0.0
0.0

10.0
20.0
30.0
Average Contributing Area (km2)

10.0

40.0

250.0

Average Contributing Area
2.0

Meander Wavelength

20.0

30.0

40.0

(km2)

Sinuosity

1.8

200.0

1.6
150.0

1.4
1.2

100.0

1.0
50.0

y = 5.5359x + 28.135
R² = 0.7326

0.0
0.0

5.0

10.0

15.0

20.0

25.0

30.0

Average Contributing Area (km2)

35.0

40.0

0.8
0.6
0.0

10.0

20.0

Average Contributing Area (km2)

Analog analysis
Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

30.0

40.0

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

What is your Design Flow?
• Flood Flows - DNR/FEMA regulatory flows
Statistical Recurrence
Interval

Upper Reach Flow, cfs

Lower Reach Flow, cfs

500 yr

830

1288

100 yr

633

957

50 yr

521

780

25 yr

450

664

10 yr

346

511

5 yr

254

385

2 yr

171

252

Hydrology and Hydraulics

What is your Design Flow?
• “Typical” High Flows - Translation of gage data from region

Hydrology and Hydraulics

Key Hydraulic Features:


Very flat slopes (0.03 – 0.11%)
Flood water elevations driven by culvert constrictions
Very low shear stresses

Hydrology and Hydraulics

Large Wood Habitat
Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Large Wood Design
Considerations:
• Bouyancy
• Type of wood
• Type and depth of
soil balast
• Cabling
• Lift and Drag Forces
• Flow velocity
• Size of wood
• Position of wood
• Future Debris Collection

Large Wood Habitat

Riparian Enhancements

Construction

Construction
Making Connections Across Our Watersheds

Planting

Planting

Planting

• Phase 3 Construction
(incl wetland scrapes
from Phase 1)
• Phase 4 Design and
Construction

Next Steps

QUESTIONS?

Making Connections Across Our Watersheds