Kays Creek Restoration

Ducks Unlimited, in conjunction with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), initiated work in 1999 to restore over 3,000 feet of the lowest segment of Kay's Creek on TNC's Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve. This project included redesigning the existing stream corridor to eliminate its channelization by adding an in-stream sub-floodplain, decreasing bank slope, and decreasing the overall channel slope. In addition, these improvements also facilitated the restoration of the historic riparian corridor and floodplain wetland plant communities. Four managed wetland areas (approximately 20 acres total) were also created on the adjacent upland areas that will support moist soil and emergent wetland habitats.

Kay's Creek channel before...   
... during...

... and after. 

Historically, Kay's Creek had a riparian corridor that likely ran along a narrow winding creek channel. This stream would have experienced overbank flooding supporting riparian and emergent wetlands hosting a wide variety of migratory birds and other wildlife. Until recently, however, it did none of these things. In the 1940s, the Army Corps of Engineers dredged and straightened the stream to where it is now a straight corridor that varies from 9'- 4' deep and up to 14' wide.

Main diversion structure before...

 ... during...

... just after...

... working great.

The expected results will be to re-establish the historic riparian corridor that once existed along the creek, attenuate of flashy flood flows from the upper watershed, raise groundwater in the adjacent floodplain, re-create emergent marsh areas, and improve overall wildlife habitat.

This $350,000 project was made possible through funding from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Ducks Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.