Abstract: Session E 2:45 pm (Back to Session E)
Initial Observations of Biological Recovery at Dodson Branch: Years 1-2
Extremely elevated fecal coliform bacteria concentrations were found in the Pigeon River below the confluence of Dodson Branch in Haywood County, NC. Dotson Branch has been historically channelized and dairy cattle have had access to its entire length to the Pigeon River. Cooperative agreements were implemented between landowners and an intensive stream restoration project of 10,000 linear feet was initiated in the Dodson Branch watershed. Prior to construction biological data (benthic insects, fecal coliform bacteria) were collected and data noted poor water quality conditions. Restoration included conservation easements along the stream in which cattle access was eliminated, stream floodplains were reattached, and instream habitat improved. Initial post-construction fecal coliform concentrations were reduced significantly, however changes in benthic insect community structure were minor at most locations. The most downstream location on Dodson Branch improved slightly following construction and significant increases in numbers of the caddisfly Chimarra spp. were seen. Paired watershed studies were also undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of Habitubes for improving benthic insect colonization.