The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

February 14, 2014

Beaver Island restoration project finally becoming a reality

CLINTON — For more than 15 years, the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge has discussed a plan for a fish restoration project in Clinton and now, that plan is becoming a reality.

At a public meeting on March 26, Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge Savanna district manager Ed Britton will unveil the project, the first of its kind in pool 14, known as the Beaver Island project.

“This is the first big project for fishery that we’ve ever done in pool 14 so we’re very excited for it,” Britton said.

Essentially the plan is designed to deepen the backwater channel of the Mississippi River that flows through Beaver Island by removing sediment that has settled over the years, and increasing the fish population in the area.

While the multimillion dollar project is still in its infant stages, Britton explained that it will be similar in nature to the Potter’s Marsh habitat rehabilitation and restoration project in Thomson, Ill.

That project, completed in 1996, included dredging more than 24,000 lineal feet of sediment for fishery enhancement and the creation of 18 potholes for waterfowl use, among many other things.

“Typically fish restoration projects mean deepening the backwater areas,” Britton said. “So, what we’re going to do at Beaver Island is go through and dredge out portions of that channel to increase the fishery.”

Dredging out those portions of the channel provide over-wintering habitat to fish critical to their survival, Britton wrote in a recent column.

In the column, Britton writes that bluegill, crappie and bass typically move to off-channel areas and backwaters when water temperatures cool below 50 degrees, prior to the water freezing. Those areas offer good oxygen levels and provide an ideal habitat to those particular fish during the winter’s freezing period.

However, as more and more of those ideal habitats are threatened by gathering sediment that make the pools shallower, it becomes more difficult for the fish to survive the harsh winters and increases the urgency for the Beaver Island project.

The March 26 meeting will be spearheaded by the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, but once the information is put out to the public, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will take the lead on the Beaver Island Project.

According to Beaver Island study manager Monique Savage of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the meeting is aimed to not only tell people about the project, but more importantly, to get their input and suggestions about the features of Beaver Island.

“We don’t know what our features are going to be yet so this is the scoping meeting, asking the public do you have any information on this?” Savage said. “We have all of our data but the day-to-day connection with the river is what the public has that we don’t have and that’s a valuable resource. It’s just interesting to get the public’s input prior to having the project laid out.”

Savage encourages people who attend the meeting to share their stories of Beaver Island and bring photographs and other mementos to display to the project leaders as well as others in attendance.

It’s the memories from area residents, who have seen Beaver Island in all its forms over the years, that will play a key role in developing the project and determine what the final outcome will be, Savage said.

“We want to know what they know, what they want and what used to be there,” Savage said. “We want to understand Beaver Island as best we can so that this project is what we want, what the people want and what is best for Beaver Island.”


Text Only
Top News
  • Screen shot 2014-04-18 at 4.44.15 PM.png Paint, doodle and sketch: 3 apps for art lovers

    In the absence of a palette of watercolors and a sketchpad, these three apps can fill in as your art supplies of choice.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 19, 2014

  • Way of the Cross photo The Way of the Cross By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer The Way of the Cross

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Hood A year after 'chaos'

    It happened two hours after John Hood finished his run. Like many, he thought the loud boom was just the sound of cannons going off, something that shook the ground. It was odd, but Hood — a 1989 Clinton High School graduate — tried to make it logical, associating the noise with another good happening at the Boston Marathon.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • AGENDA: 4-22-14 Clinton City Council

    The Clinton City Council will meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. followed by a committee of the whole.

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge asks pointed questions in gay marriage case

    A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions.

    U.S. Circuit Judge Jerome Holmes is seen as the swing vote on the three-judge panel that heard the Oklahoma appeal and a similar case from Utah last week.

    April 18, 2014

  • NASA's moon-orbiting robot crashes down as planned

    April 18, 2014

  • Eyewitness testimony no longer a gold standard

    The American legal system offers few moments as dramatic as an eyewitness to a crime pointing his finger across a crowded courtroom at a defendant.

    The problem is that decades of studies show eyewitness testimony is only right about half the time — a reality that has prompted a small vanguard of police chiefs, courts and lawmakers to toughen laws governing the handling of eyewitnesses and their accounts of crimes.

    April 18, 2014

AP Video