Always check with the Conservation District prior to planning/starting a project in or near a stream. Permits may be required!!!
Stream banks and riparian vegetation are important to the function and stability of the surrounding land, lakes, creeks, and streams, and all species that rely on water.
When dealing with erosion, realize that it is due to a number of factors such as meanders, high bedload transport rates, lack of riparian vegetation, increased flow, extreme events, scours, channel alterations upstream, road encroachments, and heavy grazing. Some erosion is a good thing.
- DO get a permit from the Conservation District and other permitting agencies prior to starting your project.
- DO consider all the concerns regarding erosion, how your proposed activity will affect those up and downstream from your project.
- DO consider other alternatives to your proposed project.
- DO work with permitting agencies at on-site inspections.
- Don’t proceed without a permit.
- Don’t go beyond the bounds of your permit.
What you see above is an example of what you do NOT want to do when your streambank is eroding. Funny only in theory!
Woody debris is a natural component of the riparian system. Woody debris helps disperse flow rates, provide channel stability, and habitat for fish. The removal of woody debris is not advised unless there is potential damage to land and/or property. Removing fallen woody debris for aesthetics should be kept to a minimum. Consideration for removing woody debris should be determined by the threat of erosion, flooding risks, blocking culverts, headgates, or bridges, and if there is a possibility of a new channel forming.
The Lewis & Clark Conservation District requires a permit for removal of any extreme cases. We do ask for landowners to maintain their culverts, headgates, and bridges and to assess the possible damages that may arise from high waters. On the other hand the Conservation District will sometimes advise the use of woody debris for streambank restoration projects to assist with stream flow rates against stream banks.
If you have any further questions please contact the Lewis & Clark Conservation District.
Below are links discussing some methods used to help protect your land and water.