Rivergator Appendix III
Habitat Restoration on the Lower Miss
Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
The Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee partners have identified more than 200 projects to restore aquatic habitat and provide greater public access to the river. Water flows have been restored to nearly 40 miles of side channel habitat. More projects are planned based on how they improve habitat quality and whether they are cost-effective. The LMRCC, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other partners are monitoring habitat changes at restoration sites.
Pallid Sturgeon: Studies in the last decade have confirmed that the Pallid Sturgeon, an endangered species, occurs throughout the Lower Mississippi River. Restoration of side channels, among other actions, is improving habitat for young sturgeon to survive. Biologists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
are continuing to study sturgeon populations to learn more about the habitats they need and how they may benefit from restoration projects.
Fat Pocketbook Mussel: This species, also endangered, was first reported from Mississippi River channel habitats in 2003. Recent studies indicate that the mussels are associated with secondary channels where water flows are maintained by dike notches.
Interior Least Tern: The bulk of the world’s population of endangered Interior Least Terns occurs along the Lower Mississippi River. The Fish and Wildlife Service states construction of notches in Lower Mississippi River navigation dikes enhances Least Tern breeding habitats by limiting the ability of terrestrial predators to reach nesting colonies.