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New Philadelphia Ballfield Habitat Project

 

On the week of Sept. 12, SHA completed a trout habitat project with a partnership through Schuylkill County Trout Unlimited and the Schuylkill Conservation District. Along with creating a renewed natural meander in the stream for restored fish and wildlife habitat, the completion of this project will enhance recreational opportunities such as fishing and park use for the community and tourists. The project is located downstream from the Silver Creek abandoned mine drainage (AMD) treatment system at the New Philadelphia Ballfield Park. Since SHA began AMD mitigation efforts upstream, this project brings a long term vision of restoring healthy fisheries and wildlife to fruition in the waterway.

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The picture on the left shows the stream channel before habitat construction began. This shows the lack of natural river meander, riffles, eddys, and depth variation generally required for better quality trout wildlife habitat in coldwater streams. The picture on the right shows volunteers and equipment operators moving logs into the stream channel to create ideal habitation sites.

The New Philadelphia habitat project was a combined effort of Blythe Township Water Authority, the New Philadelphia Borough, National Trout Unlimited, Schuylkill County Trout Unlimited, and the Conservation District. The project was funded by a Trout Unlimited Embrace-A-Stream grant received by Schuylkill County Trout Unlimited. The project was designed (see below) and given oversight by National Trout Unlimited’s Phil Thomas. There were a total of 37 volunteers working on various sections of the habitat site. Logs for the structures, made of larch trees, were supplied through DCNR Weiser Forest District. K&S Tree Service delivered the logs as a donation. R.E. Pearson Middleport Quarry provided stone at a reduced rate and New Philadelphia Borough hauled the stone to the site. Both Blythe Township Water Authority and Madonna Enterprise Construction Company provided equipment and operators.

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This picture is the above view of the New Philadelphia Ballfied habitat plans showing the habitat structures that were installed into the stream channel.

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Topographical map showing New Philadelphia Ballfield project location where habitat structures were implemented.

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This picture shows a completed habitat deflector structure.
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This picture shows detailed plans of a structure with a log frame filled in with stone to act as a deflector.

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This picture shows an eddy being created on the far side the habitat structures.

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These three pictures show more detailed habitat structure plans of boulder placement, cribbing, and deflectors that were installed in the waterway.

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This is a picture of a completed log framed cross vane. It shows the formation of a deep pool eddy being formed downstream which is ideal for trout habitat development.

Permanent link to this article: http://schuylkillheadwaters.org/2016/new-philadelphia-ballfield-habitat-project/

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