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Restoring Silver Creek

Silver Creek, Then and Now

View aerial images of the creek from 1946 and 2009.

In early 2014 the Conservancy embarked on a major restoration project at Silver Creek Preserve that resulted in clearer, cooler water for the entire creek ecosystem. As of April 2014, that project is now nearly complete.

The restoration removed decades of sediment build-up and reduced surface area in a section that contributed to rising water temperatures through the system - affecting wildlife, fish and recreation. 

New wetlands, juvenile fish habitat and additional access points were created through the project.

“This project is a major step forward in creating a healthier Silver Creek and better water quality for people, plant and animals. With temperatures predicted to rise in the coming years, this project will become increasingly important,” says Dayna Gross, Silver Creek Watershed Manager. “We are very grateful for the support this project has received from the Purdy family and all those who love and enjoy Silver Creek.”

Why was this restoration important?
Researchers identified increasing water temperature and associated low dissolved oxygen levels as the main threats to Silver Creek. The impounded section of the creek, known as Kilpatrick Pond, contributed a significant amount of warm water into the system because of its large surface area. This affected over 15 miles of creek downstream. 

Restoration included:

  • Enhancing streamside habitats
  • Creating a more diverse stream channel
  • Stabilizing existing sediments by creating wetlands, which will help reduce temperatures through the pond by reducing its surface area.


A portion of the pond and an irrigation diversion dam is located on private property owned by the Purdy family and adjoining Silver Creek. Through an agreement with the Conservancy, the Purdys reconfigured the dam, incorporated a fish passage and the ability to release water from the bottom of the pond to help manage water temperature.



 

Read more in these resources:

October 2013 update

September 2013 update

Silver Creek Kilpatrick Pond Preliminary Design - August 2012.

Kilpatrick Pond Science Report  

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