Stream Restoration

North Clear Creek – Stream Restoration

Improvements along North Clear Creek include highway widening, construction of water-treatment facilities, installation of a recreation path, improved utilities, and numerous other features.  To accommodate these improvements, the North Clear Creek stream channel will need to be relocated at many locations.  A stream channel restoration design has been prepared not only for the relocated areas, but also for areas that have been affected by years of mining.

Objectives for the stream channel restoration design include the following items:

  1. Relocate the channel at specific locations to make way for other improvements while providing a channel planform that is consistent with natural canyon-bound streams.
  2. Remove instream mine-tailing piles.
  3. Improve the lateral and vertical stability of the channel with bank stabilization and grade control using bio-engineered methods at appropriate locations.
  4. Increase hydraulic diversity to enhance aquatic habitat.
  5. Improve Brown Trout spawning and rearing habitat.
  6. Enhance recreational opportunities.

These objectives, while important individually, are often combined by Mother Nature in natural streams.  For example, in natural canyon-bound streams, Mother Nature typically stabilizes the stream through “boulder steps”, and the pools that form below the steps provide excellent trout habitat.  Therefore, the stream restoration design was developed to mimic Mother Nature, in many cases disregarding more traditional engineering approaches.

Subreach Planview (pdf)