Rice Creek Restoration Project

 

We will begin the Rice Creek stream restoration project this Thursday with a stream flow training workshop presented by Kristin Thomas, our Michigan TU aquatic biologist. The workshop is scheduled for Thursday May 4 2017  from 6:00 pm until around 7:30 or 8:00 pm in Ketchum Park on South Marshall Street in Marshall MI.

Kalamazoo Valley Chapter Trout Unlimited (KVCTU) and Michigan Trout Unlimited (MITU) recently announced the receipt of a grant from Kalamazoo River Community Recreational Foundation to continue the study, evaluation, and rehabilitation of Rice Creek that runs through Ketchum Park in Marshall.  Ketchum Park was developed on the site of a grist mill that was built in the late 1800’s.  A mill race was split off from Rice Creek to supply water to the mill pond that provided water to operate the mill.  Until a few years ago, most of the water flowed down the Mill Race – leaving the Historic Channel significantly short of its natural flow.  Within the project to remove the dam on the Historic Channel, used to divert water down the Mill Race and to reconnect the stream flows within the park, it was planned to make the Historic Channel the primary channel – carrying most of water.  This project was mostly successful, but did not achieve the desired shift in flows between the channels.

The new project will continue the work already accomplished, but will focus on the Historic Channel, between the old dam and the new confluence of the Historic and Mill Race channels within the park.  Habitat and geomorphic studies will guide the eventual design intended to narrow and deepen the natural channel above the old dam, return the Historic Channel to a “natural channel”, provide high water relief down the Mill Race, enhance the recreational aspects of both channels, and be consistent with plans being developed by the Ketchum Park Advisory Council.

KVCTU and MITU are joined in the project by the Ketchum Park Advisory Council, Calhoun County Conservation District, City of Marshall, Potawatomi Resource Conservation & Development Council, Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

The project will be managed by Kristin Thomas, Michigan Trout Unlimited – with the oversight of the KVCTU Resource Committee.  Aaron Snell, Streamside Ecological Services (SES), is the consultant on the project.  SES has extensive experience in stream study and evaluation, rehabilitation and enhancement design, and project implementation.

Data collection, old and new, will begin immediately – followed by design work.  In-stream work is planned for the summer of 2017.

KVCTU anticipates that there will be opportunities for its membership to participate directly in the project.  If you are interested in registering as a volunteer, please send John Keagle an e-mail at jkeag@tds.net with your contact information and the nature of your interest, i.e. physical labor (habitat renovation, plant revegetation, installing stream structures, etc.), habitat and botanical surveys, community communications and outreach, etc.

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