Constricting the Flow!

The use of Timber Bundle Deflectors


    After the new channel was cut on Millennium Creek, there were certain areas of the stream channel that required further measures to create the narrow deep channel that was in the restoration plan. These areas of the creek had very soft bottoms, low gradient and no cover habitat for trout. The most cost effective and efficient method of remediation was determined to be the installation of deflectors to train the flow in the channel. This would achieve the narrow deep channel that was desired!

    In the spring of 2007, a total of 48 timber bundle deflectors were installed into the stream channel on Millennium Creek. The results of this stream enhancement became quite evident by the following year, when the channel narrowed and deepened from a definite constriction in the flow velocity of the channel. By the spring of 2008, vegetation had slowly grown in from the established riparian plants already present on the stream banks and sub-emergent aquatic plants started to cover the shallow areas along the perimeter of the channel.

Above Photo: Before Deflectors

    This is a photo of a length of stream channel that had been cut one year earlier. The photo was taken in the summer of 2006, before timber bundle deflectors were installed. Note the wide shallow depth of the silt covered bottom with no available fish habitat.

Above Photo: After Deflectors

    This photo is of the same length of stream channel one year after timber bundle deflectors were installed in the stream channel. The photo was taken in the spring of 2008, one year after the deflectors were placed in the channel. Note the new riparian growth!

Policeman Creek Deflectors

Constricting the Flow and Providing Cover Habitat for Trout !

Above: You can see a brown trout holding beneath the cover of a timber bundle deflector.

2002 Policeman Creek Deflector Project


    In 2002, BVHD completed a timber bundle deflector project on Policeman Creek, in the Town of Canmore, Alberta. The project involved the installation of 11 timber deflectors along both sides of the stream channel. The objective was to constrict the flow in the channel, to scour and deepen a run in the centre of the creek.

    The submerged timber bundles would also provide good cover habitat for resident mountain whitefish and trout. A track hoe was used to trench in the deflectors, with frost anchors, rocks and steel pins to hold them in place.

    The finished project was very natural in appearance and the structures successfully deepened the channel and increased the velocity of flow. Trout were observed holding in the cover that they provided, in the following years.

Above: A five spine stickle back minnow. Common on Millennium Creek.

Above: A small brook trout which is also common on Millennium Creek.

Deflector Design

    A simple deflector design was used in the Millennium Creek enhancement project. Additional woody debris was added to the basic post design to make the deflectors appear more natural and provide added cover for trout.

    The posts are spruce or pine. They are striped of their bark, sharpened and driven horizontally into the stream bank on opposing sides of the stream channel. They are installed at or below the water level in the creek, so that frost heaving will be kept to a minimum.

    Over time, the channel will narrow and deepen. Riparian foliage will encroach in on the stream banks. The root systems of the riparian growth will elevate and stabilize the stream channels perimeter.

    The woody debris is an attractive environment for various types of aquatic invertebrates, so the added habitat will contribute to the food base of resident trout  as well.

Millennium Creek deflectors

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