Measures of Success

Completion of the Thornapple River Restoration Project including the Floodplain Restoration Phase will create a stretch of over 60 unimpeded miles of fish passage on the Thornapple River, providing upstream access for migratory fish species including walleye, northern pike, and several species of sucker. The project will increase spawning habitat by restoring over a mile of riverine habitat and decrease breeding isolation caused by habitat fragmentation. The Floodplain Restoration Phase will improve biota in a one-mile stretch of the newly drained Mill Pond area of the Thornapple River by restoring and improving 3606 linear feet of riverbank and associated aquatic and floodplain habitat. Restored vegetation will increase the status of macroinvertebrates, improve dissolved oxygen levels, decrease water temperature and reduce sedimentation. Additional benefits include nutrient uptake, improved and diversified waterfowl habitat, and an enhanced riverine corridor for wildlife movement. The project will provide recreational benefits through improved recreational fishing access, unimpeded kayak and canoeing, and enhanced wildlife viewing opportunities.

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