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Upper Manistee Restoration Update at Flowing Well

August 5, 2013

Over the last year, CRA has continued to restore and enhance the Upper Manistee River at the former Flowing Well Trout Farm. Projects have concentrated on building habitat for both aquatic and terrestrial species.

Placement of woody structures along stream channels has created high-quality aquatic habitat. Approximately 175 large woody debris structures have been placed on over 6,000 linear feet of the river.  Woody structures were constructed underwater along streambanks with larger pieces secured at the water’s surface. CRA worked with Kanouse Outdoor Restoration to restore over one mile of river that was negatively impacted from the trout farm and associated dams.

Read more at Flowing Well Instream Habitat Restoration Project Summary.

Habitat for amphibians and reptiles was also installed. Staff reused fence posts to create basking structures for turtles and has closely monitored amphibian and reptile populations. CRA contracted Herpetological Resource and Management (Chelsea, MI) to conduct two surveys, one pre-restoration in 2011 and one post-restoration in 2012. Their findings include:

  • Post-restoration, the area has diverse habitat types that support a variety of amphibians and reptiles
  • Rare species including the Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) and wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) were observed
  • Aquatic macroinvertebrate community composition demonstrated a shift to species that are indicative of high water quality

Read the full report at Upper Manistee Riparian Corridor Restoration Project - Inventory Final Report (September 2012).

In addition, CRA contracted with the Michigan Natural Features Inventory, a program of Michigan State University Extension, to conduct natural features inventories for the property. Surveys for natural communities, plants, mussels, breeding birds, rare species and rare insects were conducted. Their results include:

  • A total of 387 plant taxa were identified, including 315 native species
  • Two state-listed threatened bird species, the red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus) and the Louisiana waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla) were detected
  • The forest interior warbler and thrush species were diverse and only one individual invasive bird was detected - the brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater)
  • The golden-winged warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera), a species with significantly declining populations and pending federal listing, was detected

Learn more at Natural Features Inventory for the Flowing Well Trout Farm Restoration Area (April 2013).

To learn about past restoration projects at this site, visit Upper Manistee Protection & Restoration Project.


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