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2009 ISA Grant Program Recipients


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2009 Grants Approved

The following projects that were applied for under our 2009 Conservation Grant Program have been approved. We're very fortunate to have a membership base that allows us to facilitate the needs of others in preserving our natural resources.

Please remember the importance of renewing your membership each and every year and reflect on what we are able to accomplish together. These grants are a part of the overall ISA conservation agenda, but we can only do it with your support!

 

1) Grant title: Repair of Fish Bypass Channel at Harrington’s Dam on Big Rock Creek

 

Project goals: To reconnect Big Rock Creek to the Fox River by repairing damaged fish passage structure installed in 2005 on a private dam.

 

The bypass structure was installed as part of larger project to restore fish passage on the entire Big Rock Creek mainstem. The original project was funded by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Fish Passage Program and involved two dams. The Drakes Dam in Plano was retrofitted with a full dam ramp and a bypass channel was installed at Harrington’s dam, located 1.6 miles upstream of the Drakes Dam. Although dam removal was the preferred approach, neither owner was willing to have their structures removed. However, having two different fish passage techniques installed on Big Rock Creek allowed us the rare opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of each structure. Our fishery evaluation indicated that both structures were successful at passing fish.

 

Unfortunately, the bypass channel was impacted by the large rain events which occurred in September of 2008. The excavated channel was filled in with sand and gravel and many of the rocks located at the entrance and exit of the channel were washed away or buried.

 

 

Project approach: The bypass channel will be re-excavated and rock will be replaced to restore functional fish passage. Following the original design and using the original contractor (Jon’s Excavating of Sandwich), the bypass channel will be repaired.

 

 

We are requesting $2000 from the Illinois Smallmouth bass Alliance (ISA).We already have a commitment from Friends of the Fox River for $1000 for match. Total cost of the projct will be $3000. In kind service will be provided by IDNR which includes project coordination and construction over sight.

 

 

We will also continue our fishery evaluation of the bypass structure, similar to the approach used during the last three years, employing a trap net at the upstream end of the channel to capture migrants during spring and early summer. Net deployment in 2009 will depend on completion date of the construction.

 

 

Project relevance and justification: The direct benefits of this project are to enhance smallmouth bass populations in Big Rock Creek and the Fox River by allowing upstream movement for spawning and foraging, and to prevent isolation in order to preserve genetic integrity. This project also benefits all other species of fish and freshwater mussels, allowing connection to downstream recruitment sources in the lower creek and Fox River, helping to mitigate effects of floods, droughts, and possible future impacts due to encroaching urban development.

 

 

 

This project meshes well with the stated Mission of the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance to enhance habitat for smallmouth bass by reconnecting and/or opening up over 25 miles of stream habitat (2nd order size and larger) for spawning and nursery functions. It is also in line with the conservation philosophies of the ISA, by supporting natural reproduction and preserving genetics of smallmouth bass, mitigating effects of low head dams, and sustaining natural processes which support accompanying stream species.

 

This project meshes well with the stated Mission of the Smallmouth Bass Alliance to enhance habitat for smallmouth bass by reconnecting and/or opening up over 25 miles of stream habitat (2nd order size and larger) for spawning and nursery functions. It is also in line with the conservation philosophies of the ISA, by supporting natural reproduction and preserving genetics of smallmouth bass, mitigating effects of low head dams, and sustaining natural processes which support accompanying stream species.

 

Grant applicant name:

Stephen M. Pescitelli, Streams Specialist

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Region II Stream Program

 

 

 

 

2) Grant title: Castle Rock Fishing Area and Boat Ramp Bank Stabilization

 

Project goals: Stabilize the eroding stream bank along the Rock River below the Castle Rock Overlook and around the public boat ramp.

 

Project approach: Rock rip/rap will be placed around the boat ramp area to replace rock that has been lost over time due to flooding and vandalism. Rock rip/rap will also be placed along the eroding bank below the Castle Rock Overlook. The vertical banks in this area will be shaped to not more than a 30 degree slope, and the rock will be placed to cover and protect the banks. This is a popular fishing and picnicking area, and it is currently losing 2-3' of bank/ year. The rock rip/rap will provide habitat for smallmouth bass and should enhance the fishing experience for the fishermen in this area.

 

Project relevance and justification: Eroding banks, aside from being unattractive, also add large amounts of sediment to the waterway, increasing turbidity, and adding a layer of silt to the stream bottom. Siltation is extremely detrimental to smallmouth spawning habitat, and silt decreases the ability of the fish to thrive and grow. Rock rip/rap placed as an erosion control measure has been proven to increase the number and size of the smallmouth bass in an area, and helps to alleviate the problem of the sediment working it’s way into the stream.

 

Budget:

 

* Heavy construction work and delivery of RR5 shot rock: $5000.00 (To be donated by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Ogle County State Highway Crew)

* 400 tons of RR5 shot @ $5.00/ton = $2000.00 - Illinois Department of Natural Resources to provide $500.00 toward the purchase of the rock.

* $1,500.00 is needed to help pay for the cost of the rock.

 

Collaborators: Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Grant Afflerbaugh, Site Superintendent Castle Rock State Park, and Gerry Grimm, Illinois Department of Transportation, Ogle County Highway Dept.

 

Timeline: This project will be completed in the fall of 2009.

 

3) Grant title: Mackinaw River Erosion Control Projects

Project goals: Purpose of the project is to stabilize severely eroding stream banks on the Mackinaw River in Tazewell County. This will be on 5 sites on the Mackinaw River at the same time providing fishery habitat. By installing stream barbs to stabilize the eroding stream banks. Federal and state cost share programs are being utilized on these projects to help offset the expensive cost of the practices. However there still remains a large amount of the practices that the landowners or drainage districts are having to cover costs on.

 

Project approach: The project will install stream barbs of RR 5 Class A rock on 2,255 feet of severely eroding stream banks of the Mackinaw River. This will be also providing in stream habitat for small mouth bass.

 

Project relevance and justification: These projects will address severe streambank erosion on the Mackinaw River and at the same time provide in stream habitat for smallmouth bass and other species.

 

Budget: $2,000 funding approved.

 

Collaborators:

Tazewell County Soil & Water Conservation District Joy Severns. Cost sharing for 20 % of the cost of the projects.

 

USDA NRCS Tim Malone will be providing technical assistance in design, construction oversight and in addition to financial assistance under the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

 

Private Landowners and Drainage Districts

 

Timeline: January through June of 2009

 

Applicant qualifications:

Tim Malone has completed about 20 streambank projects in the Mackinaw River Watershed for over $650,000 in project costs. Some of these projects can be viewed on the Prairie State Outdoors website http://www.prairiestateoutdoors.com/index.php?/conservation/

 

Malone is the District Conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service covering Tazewell County IL. He has been working with stream bank erosion issues on the Mackinaw River since 1999. He has been providing technical and financial assistance to private landowners on these resource concerns.

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