Fish and the critters that feed fish (macroinvertebrates) need stable, vegetated banks and pools to cool off and hide.
Does your group want to increase fishing habitat? We can help you plan your project.
Streambanks wear away because they can't handle the amount of water and sediment coming from upstream. This problem is often paired with a lack of trees and shrubs on streambanks to provide protection. Logs can be installed into streambanks to push water away to allow banks to develop stability. Log vanes also provide pools for fish and aquatic insects to hang out. This is a natural way to help streams become more stable, improve water quality, and to provide habitat for fish and insects.
Pictured here: log vanes on Pine Creek at Fawcett Fields in Shaler Township.
stone cross vane
Just like log vanes, stone cross vanes help repair streambanks by providing protection from the overload of water and sediment from upstream. These projects also reduce the amount of energy carried by water, which helps increase the stream health for your downstream neighbors. Do you enjoy spending the day fishing on a beautiful stream? A cross vane will help. Cross vanes create pools and oxygen rich water. Both of these things are important for a happy fish population.
Pictured here: on the same stream pictured above. Pine Creek at Fawcett Fields in Shaler Township.
A root wad is the root base of a tree and a part of the trunk and is dug into a streambank. Root wads are another natural tool that provide a number of services. They provide streambank protection, increase places for fish to live and also for the insects the fish eat. Over time, the bank will become more solid and continue to provide benefits. This is another way to improve water quality and fishing quality!
Pictured here: root wads at the New Community Church in Wexford.
The wearing away of stream banks, or erosion, causes many problems for water quality, fish habitat, and conditions downstream. Planting trees and shrubs on streambanks in your watershed will create many benefits!
streamside BUFFER REPAIR
Improving water quality and fishing spots in your watershed can be as simple as planting native trees and shrubs along an unstable streambank. The roots of trees and shrubs hold dirt from being washed away, slow water from entering the stream, filter pollutants out of water entering the stream, and provide shade and habitat for fish and insects.
The picture on the left is an example of an eroding streambank. There are no trees or shrubs, and it is being mowed right to the stream. The picture on the right is a solution! Native plants and shrubs, which grow naturally in Southwest Pennsylvania, were planted and are providing stability to the banks, slowing water entering the stream from on land, improving water quality, and providing spaces for bugs and birds. This project had the added benefit of grading back the steepness of the bank. Doing this creates a floodplain. Instead of wearing away banks during a heavy rain, floodplains provide space for water to spread out. As time goes by, this streamside buffer will only become stronger and more beneficial to the stream and the fish that live in it.