ERC - Ecological Resource Consulants, Inc.
The Multidisciplinary Approach.
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Natural channel design to stream restoration and in development of trout habitat improvements

Stream Restoration and Trout Habitat Improvement - Natural Channel Design Philosophy

ERC firmly believes in employing a natural channel design to stream restoration and in development of trout habitat improvements. Based on completion of over 35 stream restoration projects in Colorado

and the west we have found that the only true way achieve successful stream restoration is to mimic natural channel design form and function. Maximum trout holding capacity and angling diversity is achieved when adequate food and sheltered are provided year-round. Riffle-pool complexes, bend pools, glides and runs are all common natural forms associated with the most healthy productive streams and fisheries, not artificial boulder structures. Our work aims to replicate these ideally functioning natural features using proven techniques that are structurally stable, ecologically balanced and aesthetically appealing.

A properly functioning stream and riparian system supplies clean water, supports a variety of aquatic and terrestrial life forms and provides an efficient, stable method of controlling flows and transporting water and sediment. Natural streams exhibit a dynamic equilibrium. While continually changing, the forces of hydrology, geology and topography create a natural stream alignment and gradient. Channelization, flow diversions and development in the watershed affect this natural balance. ERC understands the importance of regaining this balance. Stream shape, depth, width and gradient are evaluated as part of the natural channel design process and solutions are determined that reestablish stream equilibrium.

ERC approaches stream restoration and trout habitat improvement projects using a watershed-based concept. Identifying changes in the watershed that impacts the health of a stream allows ERC to implement resource management methods and stream restoration measures that restore native functions and values of the riparian corridor.

The photograph below shows an example of stream restoration and trout habitat improvement project on the Blue River completed by ERC using the natural channel design outlined above. Components of natural stream restoration and natural channel design

Enlarge image.Components of natural stream restoration and natural channel design

Locations in Evergreen and Boulder, CO
(303) 679-4820