The Mackinaw River Watershed, a 1,100-square-mile basin in central Illinois, holds some of the most diverse aquatic communities in the state. These ecosystems are threatened, however, by intensive row-crop agriculture and other impacts.
Little River Research & Design owner & principal Steve Gough played a key role in conceptualizing conservation efforts and in writing a proposal for EPA 319 funding. Working in cooperation for The Nature Conservancy, he assessed scores of sites in the Mackinaw River Watershed. He developed watershed-based approaches to aquatic ecosystem management and hydraulic geometry relationships for this complex, glaciated landscape. Field assessment included long profile surveys and detailed geomorphological analysis at 28 sites.
The Conservancy, along with state and federal agencies, are now using this work to guide efforts to conserve and reintroduce freshwater mussels to the Mackinaw River Watershed.
Steve’s work on the Mackinaw River was published in two volumes. Copies are available from The Nature Conservancy‘s Peoria, Illinois Field Office.