Pike River Restoration
Stream Floodplain, Riparian Corridor and Habitat Restoration
Beginning in 1996, the Mount Pleasant Storm Water Drainage District (MPSWDD) entered into a facilitation process with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) regarding the development and implementation of a strategic plan to mitigate flooding in the North Branch of the Pike River. The frequency and severity of flooding events in the watershed had been increasing over the past decades, and the plan that had been prepared in the 1980s by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission was declined by WDNR when submitted by MPSWDD for Chapter 30 Approval. The year-long facilitation process resulted in a reformulation of the Pike River Plan from a strictly “stormwater conveyance” project into a more extensive stream “corridor restoration” project.
Action items incorporated into the restoration plan included:
- Continued comprehensive stormwater, and non-point management to reduce peak flows, maintain base flows, and improve water quality.
- Placement of multiple wetland systems with connectivity to the channel to function as detention/retention basins along the stream.
- Incorporation of multi-stage channel cross-sectional designs with prairie / wetland riparian vegetation to restore the native pre-settlement flora of the watershed.
- Widening of the floodplain to allow more-frequent flooding and the dissipation of peak flow energy.
- Increased channel length by addition of sinuosity (meanders) into a new channel to diversify habitat.
- Construction of new channel segments outside of the existing stream bed whenever possible - minimizing disturbance to stream and allowing revegetation and stabilization prior to use.
- Design and placement of habitat structures to promote resident fish communities.
- Implementation of a monitoring plan for habitat, invertebrate, and fish to evaluate the success of the project and recommend modifications as necessary.