Environmental Management

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 99–107 | Cite as

Ecological Responses to Trout Habitat Rehabilitation in a Northern Michigan Stream

  • Emma J. Rosi-Marshall
  • Ashley H. Moerke
  • Gary A. Lamberti


Monitoring of stream restoration projects is often limited and success often focuses on a single taxon (e.g., salmonids), even though other aspects of stream structure and function may also respond to restoration activities. The Ottawa National Forest (ONF), Michigan, conducted a site-specific trout habitat improvement to enhance the trout fishery in Cook’s Run, a 3rd-order stream that the ONF determined was negatively affected by past logging. Our objectives were to determine if the habitat improvement increased trout abundances and enhanced other ecological variables (overall habitat quality, organic matter retention, seston concentration, periphyton abundance, sediment organic matter content, and macroinvertebrate abundance and diversity) following rehabilitation. The addition of skybooms (underbank cover structures) and k-dams (pool-creating structures) increased the relative abundance of harvestable trout (>25 cm in total length) as intended but not overall trout abundances. Both rehabilitation techniques also increased maximum channel depth and organic matter retention, but only k-dams increased overall habitat quality. Neither approach significantly affected other ecological variables. The modest ecological response to this habitat improvement likely occurred because the system was not severely degraded beforehand, and thus small, local changes in habitat did not measurably affect most physical and ecological variables measured. However, increases in habitat volume and in organic matter retention may enhance stream biota in the long term.


Salmonidae Restoration Organic matter Macroinvertebrates Periphyton 



We thank Jerry Edde (USDA Forest Service) and the Ottawa National Forest for implementing the rehabilitation that made this study possible. We are also grateful for the field assistance provided by University of Notre Dame graduate students Mike Brueseke, Hattie Dambrowski, John Drake, Sean Dunlap, Michelle Evans-White, Ken Filchak, Adrienne Froelich, Kerry Gerard, Candice Goy, Chev Kellogg, Laurie Kellogg, Jill Kostel, Timothy Kreps, Jo Latimore, Jean Miesbauer, Nicole Mitchell, Meredith Moses, Uwe Stolz, Eric Strauss, and Asako Yamamuro. Funding for this project was provided by a Cooperative Cost-Share Agreement with the USDA Forest Service (R907-CCS-98-008), a grant from the USDA-CSREES National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program (2003-53101-12871), and by a Graduate Research Training Grant from the National Science Foundation (DGE94-52655).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emma J. Rosi-Marshall
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ashley H. Moerke
    • 1
    • 3
  • Gary A. Lamberti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA
  2. 2.Biology DepartmentLoyola University ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Biology DepartmentLake Superior State UniversityMarieUSA

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