Using In-stream Structures for Stream Reconstruction

Many methods are utilized in the process of restoring a stream. The complete reconstruction of a stream can bring the work of builders, engineers, GIS professionals and biologists together to create a natural stream design.

Installation of in-stream structures is very important to create wildlife habitat and prevent erosion while maintaining aesthetics. In-stream structures can include: deflectors, cross-vanes, weirs, step pools and log jams. These structures can be used to direct stream flow, dissipate flow energy, and create pools and other habitats for aquatic species.

These native boulders were used to create in-stream structures for a stream reconstruction project in Letcher Co., Ky.

Several elements of stream restoration can be seen in this image: The boulders concentrate flow down the center of the channel to reduce bank erosion. Cross-vanes reduce velocity and add diversity to the water flow. Meanwhile, large local woody debris was placed throughout the reach to provide amphibian habitat and food to macroinvertebrates in the form of detritus as they decompose.

BSC has been involved in all aspects of stream restoration including the design and monitoring of in-stream structures for reconstructed streams.