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Introduction How Rivers Run Stories Value Of A River What We Can Do
Flooding the Town of Beaver
(pg 5 of 5)

Beginning in 1998, DNR staff workers created a new channel that still bypassed the ponds but mimicked the bends and cutbanks of the old natural channel. They dredged 39,000 cubic yards of sediment, installed several hundred tree revetments (or "root wads") to stabilize the newly dug banks, and created eight rock weirs to form riffles. They then hooked the new "natural" channel to part of the original channel, now an isolated oxbow. Finally, heavy equipment broke the old levies flanking the channelized portion of the stream, allowing the Whitewater to spill into its restored channel.

Already, the naturalized stream has shown its value. Hundreds of trout swim the deep pools scoured downstream from the new riffles, and lie among the root wads on the deep outside bends. The restored channel has reduced the transport of sand and silt to the Mississippi. High spring flows can now escape the banks, depositing silt in the river bottoms, renewing the fertility of the floodplain.

"Compared to what it was, it's really a neat section," remarked Tim Schlagenhaft, Mississippi river and blufflands coordinator in Rochester.

(Abraham, J., 2000); (Breining, G., 1999)

Luther Aadland
Hear Luther Aadland
Restoration with natural materials
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