The Department, through its Ecological Division – Fish Passage Program, is implementing an aquatic connectivity and large-scale habitat restoration and enhancement project on a publicly owned parcel on the Little Menomonee River in the City of Mequon. Approximately 3.77 miles of mainstem channel on the Little Menomonee River and Little Menomonee Creek between County Line Road and Freistadt Road has been altered through construction of road and stream crossings and dredging and artificial straightening of historic wetlands and stream corridors resulting in an incised channel hydrologically disconnected from adjacent riparian floodplain and wetland areas, which provide high quality habitat for spawning northern pike and other aquatic and terrestrial species.
The primary goal of this project is to develop engineering and design plans for permitting and to conduct construction and restoration activities (with aquatic organism passage projects as a priority) at a parcel owned by MMSD on the Little Menomonee River to holistically improve aquatic connectivity in the watershed and enhance the channel, riparian corridor, and floodplain system within the project area. Final plans and construction and restoration work will likely include a combination of fish passage impediment removals or remediations, stream remeandering, restoration of hydrologically and ecologically functional floodplains, addition of in-channel (e.g., woody debris) and avian (e.g., nest boxes) habitat structures, wetland enhancements, invasive vegetation control, and native vegetation (e.g., tree and shrub plantings) restoration activities.
The Department received funding in 2017 from the Fund for Lake Michigan to support engineering and design to holistically improve aquatic connectivity in the watershed.