Conservation Resource Alliance
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Tank Creek Dam Removal Project

March 8, 2010

The Pere Marquette is a Blue Ribbon Trout Stream and a popular fishery for steelhead, salmon, brook and brown trout. Lacking dams on the mainstream, it is the only free-flowing river in the Lake Michigan Watershed. However, many of its tributaries do indeed have dams. Tank Creek is one such tributary and it is a heavily wooded, coldwater tributary with gravel beds, thus providing exceptional habitat for trout and aquatic insects. Tank Creek is located in the middle portion of the entire watershed.
The problem with Tank Creek is that it has an impoundment and perched culvert on each of its forks. Through this project CRA worked with partners to engineer and complete the dam removal on the east branch. The dam is an earthen barrier with a stand pipe and outflow pipe. The culverts are severely undersized and in poor condition. The overflow trench has been repeatedly eroded year after year during snow melt, rain and high water in the spring. In the spring of 2007, the most significant erosion of the overflow channel occurred washing approximately 80 cu. yds. of sediment downstream into the Pere Marquette River. Now with the dam successfully removed, the stream channel is restored and excessive sedimentation from high water events is no longer an issue.

Best Management Practices:
•Barrier removal
•Fieldstone placement
•Grading and revegetation
•Sediment removal (35 cu.yds.)

Project Benefits:
•Fish passage
•Natural movement of woody debris, substrate, aquatic insects
•Reduce scouring of streambed.
•Connected ecology of 1.75 miles of the East Branch of Tank Creek
•Reduce sedimentation of the mainstem & Tank Creek from breaching of the earthen berm during high water events.

Partners involved:
Pere Marquette River Restoration Committee including the following partners - Conservation Resource Alliance, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan Department of Natural Resources - Fisheries Division, Mason-Lake Conservation District, Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Pere Marquette Watershed Council & landowners, Bill & Sue Arnold.

Project Cost: $30,000

Contributors:
*Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division- Inland Fisheries Program $10,000
*US Fish & Wildlife Service $5,000
*Pere Marquette Watershed Council $5,000
*Bill and Sue Arnold $5,000
*CRA’s River Care Program $5,000


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Conservation Resource Alliance

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10850 Traverse Highway, Suite 1180
Traverse City, MI 49684
231-946-6817

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