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Lake County, Ohio - Soil & Water Conservation District

Stream Management

    Stream Management

     

         How can Lake County landowners manage stream resources on their property? Riparian corridors along the stream, areas adjacent to the stream containing natural woody vegetation, are essential to maintaining the property physical, chemical, and biological attributes of streams. Tree roots growing in the banks help to keep steep slopes stables, lessening erosion. Shade from the canopies of mature trees shade the stream and help to keep summertime flows cool and the dissolved oxygen high. The leaf litter and understory vegetation also help to filter out surface water that may contain contaminants and/or excessive nutrients from lawn care products and pet waste. Leaf litter and woody debris from the riparian corridor are also essential habitat features and food sources for certain aquatic species. The root structures in the water provide hiding places for predators and prey alike, and the shade from these trees keeps many streams cool enough to support coldwater-adapted species. In addition to riparian corridors, it also a good practice to compost any yard clippings and brush. Placing these items in the corridor or on slopes prevents the growth of natural vegetation. Remember, the root structures of woody vegetation are the best defense against accelerated erosion. Composting also provides rich organic material for gardens and flowerbeds. Application of fertilizers and pesticides should be kept to minimum and when sprayed should be used according to the manufacturer’s directions. Conservation Easements are also a good tool to permanently protect the special areas in our county that exhibit outstanding examples of natural environments. A conservation easement is the granting of the conservation value (timber, soil, minerals, oil/gas, etc) to an agency that holds the rights in perpetuity. The landowner retains possession of the property for the quiet enjoyment, hunting, fishing, etc. For more information on easements or proper stream management techniques, contact the Lake SWCD.

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