As stated in our "Patch Ranch Stream Restoration Plan", this is phase 1 of a multi-phase process to reverse incision on Muddy Creek and reconnect it to the floodplain on Patch Ranch. Restoration structures are intended to kickstart channel aggradation, promote riparian growth, and increase habitat heterogeneity for fish, amphibians, and aquatic invertebrates. Fish, amphibians, and crayfishes are being monitored to determine their response. If project partners are satisfied with the progress made in phase 1, additional treatments of woody debris and beaver dam analogs will be implemented in an adaptive management framework.
13 BDAs and 18 LWD jams were built by University of Wyoming personnel in July 2022. BDAs were constructed first, and then posts were driven int to pin structures to the streambed/bank. The phase 1 restoration area offers the most immediate return, and the creek is expected to reconnect with its floodplain in spring 2023. Above and below the phase 1 area, the channel is more incised. LWD treatments in subsequent phases would help create a new, inset floodplain in these areas.