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Michigan Water Science Center

In cooperation with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Changes in Streamflow Patterns Related to Hydrologic Restoration of a Sedge Fen Wetland in Seney National Wildlife Refuge, Michigan, 1998-2004

U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2005-5137

By B.P. Neff, T.L. Weaver, and D.G. Wydra


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Vast expanses of sedge fen in Schoolcraft County in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula were ditched and diked in the early to mid-1900s to promote agricultural development and create waterfowl habitat. Unintended consequences of these actions were far reaching and included the deposition of large amounts of sand in the Manistique River. In 2002, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which now manages much of the wetland as part of Seney National Wildlife Refuge, attempted to restore streamflow to Walsh Creek and overland flow downgradient of Walsh Ditch, near C-3 Pool. Streamflow data were collected before and after remediation activities. These data indicate that efforts to restore flow to Walsh Creek were partially successful, but it is unclear whether overland flow was restored downgradient from Walsh Ditch. Alternatives for future evaluation of restoration of flow to Walsh Creek include monitoring streamflow at three easily accessible locations. Restoration of overland flow downgradient from Walsh Ditch can be assessed in the future by monitoring flows at three additional sites. Restoration of either site can be assessed by monitoring vegetation shifts, possibly with aerial or satellite imagery.


Neff, B.P., T.L. Weaver and D.G. Wydra, 2005, Changes in Streamflow Patterns Related to Hydrologic Restoration of a Sedge Fen Wetland in Seney National Wildlife Refuge, Michigan, 1998-2004: Date Posted: September 8, 2005, U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2005-5137, 20 p. []


Purpose and Scope
Hydrogeologic Setting
Hydrologic Restoration of C-3 Watershed
Historic Conditions and Past Disturbances
Hydrologic Restoration Activities
Streamflow Patterns Related to Hydrologic Restoration of C-3 Watershed
Suggestions for Future Monitoring to Assess Accomplishment of
Area-Restoration Goals
Summary and Conclusions
Appendix 1. Streamflow Data

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Jim Nicholas, Director
U.S. Geological Survey
Michigan Water Science Center
6520 Mercantile Way, Suite 5
Lansing, MI 48911-5991
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