Third Lake Stream Restoration

Funding Round/Year: 
Project Sponsor: 
Project SHARE
MNRCP Region: 
Central and Eastern Lowlands
Total Cost of Project: 
MNRCP Award: 
Project Type: 
Project Description: 
This project has the potential to restore access to 4000’ of blocked channels and improve habitat complexity and natural stream processes to 2 miles of the Machias River, also referred to as Third Lake Stream in this area. Third Lake Stream was highly engineered during the log drive era. A preliminary assessment has identified 17 rock walls, some of which are several hundred feet long that block 11 side channels and original meander bends of the Machias River. The rock walls are built from large boulders removed from the river channel; the sizes of which are too large for the river to move. Straightening the channel and reducing instream complexity has "locked" the channel in an altered state with increased gradient and current velocities. Natural stream channels and associated riparian buffers and wetland features are no longer being wetted other than by high water events. Lateral connectivity between the river and riparian buffer has been severely altered affecting current velocities, hyporheic flow, and sediment transport. Some of the blocked channels likely have as associated wetland component and potential for reestablishing vernal pools along their buffers once high flow events through the channels is reestablished. The project location is within the Machias River Conservation Corridor owned and managed by the State of Maine. It is within one of Project SHARE’s original focus areas for habitat restoration where they have completed over 100 road/stream crossing restoration projects and have removed dozens of remnant dams. The project will breach the rock dams sufficiently to restore stream flow to the blocked channels. Working with MDMR and USFWS biologists, Project SHARE will randomly place the boulders back in the stream channel enhancing habitat complexity for Atlantic salmon and Eastern brook trout.