The Wallenpaupack Creek habitat project, while delayed by rain storms, was “going pretty well” as it neared completion deadline of October 1, said Nick Spinelli, in his September 19 report.

PALMYRA TWP. (Pike) - The Wallenpaupack Creek habitat project, while delayed by rain storms, was “going pretty well” as it neared completion deadline of October 1, said Nick Spinelli, in his September 19 report.

Update: The project did meet the October 1st deadline, Spinellli said, and the grass is already growing on the re-seeded area.

Spinellli, administrator of the Lake Wallenpaupack Watershed Management District (LWWMD), was furnishing the update to the district’s board. The contractor has been busy building structures in the creek to stabilize the creek bed, and improve the habitat of fish and other macro-invertebrates.

The work is taking place in Newfoundland, and is commissioned by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Work includes restoring aquatic habitat, stabilizing some of the eroded banks, reducing a gravel bar that causes some bottlenecking, and returning some of the natural tendencies of the stream channel. The project aims to correct issues created when a portion of the stream channel was straightened following the 1955 flood.

The contractor had finished 22 of 26 log vanes, which are used for flow direction and fish habitat. Hemlock logs are being used, which Spinelli noted are executed to last a long time. Once they have rotted, however, natural stabilization will have had a chance to take over. Vegetation and tree root systems and gravel deposit bars should be well established.

Two mud sills were built, which provides under-cut, habitat, and cover for macro-invertebrates, fish and other aquatic life.

Toe wood is also applied, for stream bank protection and refuges for small fish to avoid predators.

The creek forms the boundary between Dreher Township, Wayne County and Greene Township, Pike County, and leads to Lake Wallenpaupack.

Concerns over creek levels due to spring rain, as well as the start of trout season, led to postponing the start date for the project from April, to mid-summer. The rains this summer, however, interfered with the work schedule. Initially they expected five to six weeks of construction time. The contractor lost the week of September 17 due to high creek levels. Barring any major storm, the work was expected to be completed over the following week.

He said that the permit for the project requires that it has to be finished by October 1, due to fish spawning in the fall.

[Other meeting items were reported in a separate story.]

The LWWMD board normally meets on the third Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., at Brookfield Environmental Learning Center. Visit wallenpaupackwatershed.org or call 570-226-3865 for more information.