Cooperatove Conservation Project

Ducktrap River Tributary Restoration Project

Innovative techniques correct threat to cold-water fisheries habitat in the Ducktrap River in Maine

Location: Northeastern/Mid-Atlantic Region: Maine

Project Summary: The goal of the Ducktrap River project was to protect federally-endangered Atlantic Salmon and other cold water species by stabilizing the eroding portions of the tributary channel.
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Project finished and vegetation established on the Ducktrap River tributary.
Resource Challenge
Examples of Key Partners

Coastal Mountains Land Trust, Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the Environmental Protection Agency, and others.

Results and Accomplishments

The project used a couple of innovative techniques. 

1.  Most widely utilized were encapsulated soil channel sides, using soil, encapsulated in biodegradable fabric.  In time, the fabric will degrade and the banks will be held in place by vegetation.  This allowed for a substantial reduction in the number of rocks used and site disturbance.

2.  Bringing the channel down steep grades by way of a series of small pools and steps, instead of in a straight chute.  This will help the channel to function naturally, increasing its habitat value and maintaining a more natural nutrient and sediment transportation process.

To ensure the long-term stability of the restored channel, periodic grade controls were built throughout the restoration area.  These are underground rock-filled trenches installed perpendicular to the channel's flow, and crossing the entire channel and floodplain.  They ensure that the channel cannot migrate from its intended location, but will allow small adjustments in channel location to occur over time.

The project appears to have corrected a substantial threat to cold-water fisheries habitat in the Ducktrap River in a manner that allows natural processes and maintains habitat values.

Through the efforts of the Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District, 319 grant funds fwere obtained rom the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to carry out the restoration project.  The District also obtained the permits needed from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.  The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provided technical assistance in preparing the engineering design, which was then approved by U.S. Fish and Wildife Service and the Environmental Protection Agency.  Once the Environmental Protection Agency declared the tributary a non-fish stream, the project began.  NRCS supervised the construction of the project.  The Coastal Mountains Land Trust was the catalyst that kept things going by doing the scheduling, obtaining materials, etc.   




The Ducktrap River Tributary Restoration Project was the first project of this type in Maine, using innovative techniques, and will be used as a model for future projects.

Project Contact
Kym Sanderson
District Office Manager
Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District
266 Waterville Road
Belfast, ME 04915
207-338-1964 x 3


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