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Bowman Creek Eastern Brook Trout Habitat Restoration, PA

Bowman Creek Habitat Restoration

The goals of this project were to restore, improve, and increase connectivity of wild eastern brook trout through riparian restoration and water quality pH improvements to the former Mountain Spring Lake bottom in the South Branch Bowman Creek headwater system. This project is entirely on public land owned by PA Fish and Boat Commission, and the watershed is in Ricketts Glen State Park, State Game lands, and PFBC lands. This will restore EBT to a catchment that included a former lake following PFBC's removal of the dam. This project design included riparian restoration with native seed mixtures, seedlings, and green cuttings to reduce high summer water temperatures. The soil was amended with limestone to improve stream alkalinity. Post-project monitoring will include water quality and fish sampling.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission removed an aging former ice dam in August 2017 that impounded the Mountain Springs Lake that was used for a recreational fishery. The impoundment was beyond repair and was an impedance to aquatic life traversing the South Branch Bowman Creek. Wild, naturally reproducing Eastern brook trout continue to spawn and use upstream and downstream areas of the watershed surrounding the drained Lake. The removal of the impoundment allowed the Luzerne Conservation District (LCD) to pursue a recommendation by the Stanley Cooper Chapter of Trout Unlimited board member, Dr. Joseph Simonds to restore the riparian areas along the former lake bottom.

Bowman Creek old lake bottomS Branch Bowman Creek with Spring Lake bottom in background

Stanley Cooper Chapter of Trout Unlimited has adopted the Bowman Creek Watershed as their focus waters for many years and were an integral part of this project. The LCD designed the species of trees and shrubs to be planted and assessed the number of each species based on soil analysis and hydrologic review of the riparian corridor along South Branch Bowman Creek. A total of 2,300 Lineal Feet of South Branch Bowman Creek was planted with trees and shrubs including an approximate 35 feet buffer along both banks that required 2000 trees and shrubs. The goals were to accelerate riparian growth to reduce sunlight impacts to the coldwater eastern brook trout habitat, improve streambank stability and restore leaf litter to the stream for macroinvertebrate habitat. Additional concerns for Eastern brook trout were identified historically by the LCD since approximately the year 2000 due to the poor levels of alkalinity and acid deposition impacts within the headwaters of the Bowman Creek Watershed. Part of the request for funding included Limestone sand applications to improve water quality on the former Lake bottom.

Completion report

Climate Change Impacts, Geographic Isolation, Water Quality
Rivers and Streams
Landscape-level Planning
Conservation Design, Outcome-based Monitoring
Aquatic Resources

Associated Locations

Town zip code county state congressional dist


Name of barrier Latitude Longitude FONS ID FIS Project ID FWS Acc. #

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