Biological Monitoring on the Archey Fork and Reference Reaches

Last week we were able to take advantage of the beautiful fall weather and sample fish species in reaches of the Archey Fork Restoration Site, as well as reference reaches on the Archey and Beech Forks in order to obtain preliminary data.  In the project area, focus was given to areas where critical habitat improvement, such as toe-wood structures, is planned.  This allows us to examine the effectiveness of restoration efforts after the project is completed.  For the riffles we used a technique called kick-seining, where a seine (see photos) is placed in the current and 2-3 people move and kick rocks upstream of the net, moving the fish with the current into the seine.

Ready. Set. KICK!

Collecting the fish species after kicking and moving the rocks and sediment.

Collecting the fish species after kicking and moving the rocks and sediment.

After collecting fish throughout the riffle we identified and counted the fish species, then released them back into the water!

Identifying and counting fish species.

Preliminary biological monitoring will continue for fish and invertebrates throughout fall and spring in the project site as well as reference reaches.  After the project is complete fish will continue to be sampled annually during low flow, and invertebrates during the fall and spring months!

Thanks to our partners Tate Wentz and Mary Barnett from ADEQ, Mitch Wine from USFWS, and Jason Throneberry from ANHC for all the help and guidance with the biological monitoring on the Archey Fork.  Y’all rock!

Scenery along the Archey Fork

Taking measurements of the riffle on a beautiful Archey Fork reference reach.

Sneaky Mr. Snapping Turtle

Archey Fork Clean-Up Success!

A big thanks to all of those who came out and volunteered at the Archey Fork Clean-Up on Saturday! There was a great turn out and we had a lot of fun! The morning kicked off under the pavilion in Archey Fork Park with a presentation by Joy DeClerk. Joy showed maps of the up-coming Archey Fork restoration project, and talked about the importance of restoring the Archey Fork River, not just for biological diversity of the river system, but also for the town of Clinton. She also showed pictures and videos of the structures built on previous restoration projects.

credit: Kathy Sherwood

After the presentation we split up into groups and headed out to different areas of the river corridor to pick up trash and recyclable material. Overall the teams were able to remove nearly a ton of trash and recyclables as well as 80 tires from the river corridor and surrounding area in Clinton!

credit: Kathy Sherwood

credit: Kathy Sherwood

credit: Kathy Sherwood

We finished back at the pavilion with lunch. All that cleaning up worked up a pretty good appetite! First Service Bank of Clinton provided the grill as well as hamburgers, hot dogs, and plenty of refreshments!

credit: Kathy Sherwood

Thank you to all of the sponsors and volunteers who helped to make this event a success! Also, thanks to the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission Stream Team for providing trash bags and equipment for the clean-up. Finally, a special thanks to Peyton Rose and the Arkansas Public Policy Panel for organizing such a great event!