TONGUE RIVER, BIRNEY, MT STEADY STREAM HYDROLOGY
LOCATION PROJECT DURATION
Tongue River, Birney, Montana 2012-2015
Side Dump Semis hauled logs, an Excavator worked to construct the natural channel design structures, a loader mobilized materials on site.
This was a stream bank stabilization and enhancement project which included a natural channel design to address severe stream bank erosion. The design also included fisheries/macroinvertebrate (aquatic bug) habitat enhancement. By diversifying the pool and riffle sequence the river in this reach can function properly to maintain its habitat features.
WHY IT WAS IMPORTANT TO THE CLIENT
The client sought to primarily address and fix bank erosion. There were areas where either an irrigation pivot or ranch structure was in jeopardy. These reaches of the Tongue River were areas where dimensions were unstable, inhibiting the channel to function properly/efficiently.
BENEFITS OF NATURAL RE-CONNECTIVITY
The proposed design has enhanced the ability for the river to naturally utilize its floodplain and provide habitat in the stream and along the riparian corridor. Connecting the river to the floodplain and its many necessary features provides stability to all the flora and fauna in any type of river ecosystem.
By returning the river to its stable dimensions, in the long-term, it can biologically support life in and around it.
Doing Stream Restoration connects the river with its riparian area in most projects. This is the area adjacent to the river where the water supports all living things. Here, that includes elk, coyote, fox, turkey, mink, raccoon, grouse, deer, ducks, geese, fish, turtles, frogs, etc.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THE RIVER/HABITAT WAS NOT FIXED
The extent of erosion on the Tongue River through this property was so severe that it would have continued to worsen had this project not been complete.