The Beaver Island Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project is located in Clinton County, Iowa, between the cities of Camanche and Clinton, in Pool 14 between Upper Mississippi River (UMR) river miles 517.0 and 513.0. All Project lands are in Federal ownership and are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as part of the UMR National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, Savanna District.
The project area is comprised of 1,678 acres of interconnected backwaters, secondary channels, wetlands, and floodplain habitat. Human activity, such as channel manipulation for navigation purposes, over the past two centuries within the UMR basin, floodplain and channel has altered the hydrology, topography, and biotic communities present in the Project area. These alterations have reduced the diversity and quality of aquatic habitat, reduced the acreage and diversity of the native floodplain forest and reduced the acreage and diversity of isolated ephemeral wetlands. While these stressors are likely to continue, as will the decline of the quality of aquatic, wetland and floodplain habitat, this Project provides an opportunity to improve the quality and diversity of critical habitats
The goals of the Project are to restore and protect off-channel aquatic, wetland, and floodplain forest habitats. The objectives identified to meet these goals are to: increase year-round aquatic habitat diversity, as measured by acres and native fish use of spawning, rearing and overwintering habitat; diversify floodplain forest habitat on Beaver Island, as measured in acres of elevated topography and number of hard mast tree species present in Project area; and increase structure and function of side channel habitat, as measured by native freshwater mussel use.
- Approximate Acres: 1,678
- State(s) Covered: Iowa
- Land Ownership: Federal
- Management Agency: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- Management Authority: Refuge
The Recommended Plan would restore backwater habitat by excavating backwater channels to a depth of 8 feet or more below flat pool to provide overwintering and year-round habitat for fish. Excavated material will be used to construct land berms to enhance topographic diversity. The land berms will be planted with native floodplain forest vegetation and trees. Other timber stand improvement actions will also occur such as tree releases, girdling, and interspersed tree plantings. A rock closure structure will be constructed at the entrance to Upper Cut on Beaver Island’s upstream end to reduce overwintering water velocities and sediment deposition. A rock chevron, bank protection, and substrate will be placed on Albany Island to protect and enhance an existing mussel bed.
- The Fact Sheet was approved in April 2006.
- The Feasibility Report was approved in June 2017.
- The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed on December 2017.
- Stage IB construction contract was awarded January 2019. Work in 2019 and 2020 will include clearing and dredging.