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Old Yesterday, 01:53 AM
 
Location: Forest bathing
1,497 posts, read 815,660 times
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You may want to contact your local conservation district for assistance in choosing appropriate vegetation along the stream. If it a fish bearing stream, they need shade to rest. Also, I don’t think a few boulders here and there will hurt. A dam, yes, but not the boulders that allow some gurgling.

We have a mostly year round creek that flows into a salt water bay. It is a salmon bearing stream so we can’t do much landscaping. We have about 300’ that cuts through our property. It floods to the opposite side away from the house. There is another smaller stream that joins it a few feet from our property line.

It is a nice place to hang out in the summer under a huge spruce or cedar tree nearby. We have left it natural: a large root system that is embedded in the bank, several vine maples and an interesting cedar that grows horizontally across the creek where I sometimes hang out to forest bathe.

Let us know what you will do. I love our creek. It brings back memories when I was a child and played in the creek behind my grandparent’s home.
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Old Yesterday, 04:39 AM
Status: "Sane." (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: Here and now.
11,641 posts, read 3,251,659 times
Reputation: 12478
I agree with those who have said pictures would be helpful.
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Old Yesterday, 05:23 AM
 
Location: Canada
5,386 posts, read 3,851,469 times
Reputation: 14273
How I wish I had a stream running through our property. Hopefully you'll find a good solution OP. Enjoy!
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Old Yesterday, 05:54 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,184 posts, read 52,398,001 times
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Riparian rights vary, but of more concern is the fact that moving flood stage water will quickly remove most "improvements." Over the years I have seen my creek transport an old telephone pole, a few small trees and one tree trunk over two feet in diameter, and erode away shale that can't be broken with a hammer. If I added rocks, they would be visiting my downstream neighbor within a few months.

On impediments, commonly low weirs are accepted if they are not impediments to fish. A quirk is that natural beaver dams usually CANNOT be removed, even if they do obstruct migration or present a flood risk.

The REAL legal issues occur when a stream is declared navigable. (Many of those are not during most of the year but have been declared as legally navigable.) That makes them subject to a whole huge layer of regulations. Fortunately, the EPA got beaten back on over-reach that would have even included dry ditching for vernal runoff.
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Old Yesterday, 07:07 AM
 
56 posts, read 19,659 times
Reputation: 62
Just to clarify a few points, the stream is at most 8" or so deep in normal conditions, no fish this far up in the path. The stream originates in an area of wetlands just outside of town and runs a few miles or so before emptying out into a much larger river. Often in dry times in the summer the water drys up all together. Over the last summer the steam was bone dry for a good month. During heavy rains the highest I have ever seen it come up is maybe about 3' deep. The "dam" I constructed is a bad description, it is literally some larger rocks close to each other to cause some turbulence in the water and causing the gurgling sound, and constructed is a bad term as well, just kind of tossed them in there no different than some mischievous kids could have done. Several neighbors have similar bridges to access the remainder of their yards. As best I can come up with the brook was a natural body of water but the town "moved it" to it's current position in several areas of town when neighborhoods were being put in, it is mostly a drainage point for water runoff.

I suppose i wasn't very clear either, I am not interested in altering the waterway at all or the banks, but more so the highest points above any high water mark that I have ever witnessed and just down a bit from my yard. Was thinking some type of plantings other than just some weeds growing there, shade tolerant plants which can tolerate some occasional damp'ish conditions. Just to be clear not interested in any aquatic plants or floating plants as they simply wouldn't stick around, there is no pond area for that, and I know the dangers of introducing potentially invasive species.

If even beautifying the top most parts of this would potentially lead to trouble then it's not worth it, best to leave sleeping dogs lie.
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Old Yesterday, 08:02 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
2,196 posts, read 784,774 times
Reputation: 4519
REAL bad advice to contact the govt: as long as anything you do involves only small scale things accomplished by hand labor and not machines, it's better to remain anonymous, and if someone complains and turns you in, just apologize and plead ignorance....if you get the govt involved first, they'll make it impossible for you to do anything and may inspect the place first and find there are already some violations and fine you and force you to correct them.


As others have suggested above, landscaping changes may affect erosion-- be careful about removing trees or shrubs, and it's probably better just to mow/ scythe tall, natural grasses/weeds (those are "wild flowers") for better appearance than to remove them and put in non-native plantings....You can "naturalize" the banks by planting bulbs like tulip, daffodil etc scattered about &/or by making small plantings of coneflowers, daisy, golden rod etc. Probably best to avoid adding things that spread by runners-- they'll take over the place.


Your rocks placed to cause some turbulence sounds good and probably doesn't affect flow to any discernable amount. Maybe add some landscaping rocks or RR ties along a bank to form a staircase, sitting area? Or maybe a small patio & walled sitting area over-looking the stream up on the higher, level area?


Do it a little at a time over the years. Keep searching the literature for new ideas. Remember to add feeding stations for the birds and a pile of rocks for the snakes.
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Old Yesterday, 09:24 AM
 
56 posts, read 19,659 times
Reputation: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
REAL bad advice to contact the govt: as long as anything you do involves only small scale things accomplished by hand labor and not machines...


As others have suggested above, landscaping changes may affect erosion-- be careful about removing trees or shrubs, and it's probably better just to mow/ scythe tall, natural grasses/weeds (those are "wild flowers") for better appearance than to remove them and put in non-native plantings....You can "naturalize" the banks by planting bulbs like tulip, daffodil etc scattered about &/or by making small plantings of coneflowers, daisy, golden rod etc. Probably best to avoid adding things that spread by runners-- they'll take over the place.


Your rocks placed to cause some turbulence sounds good and probably doesn't affect flow to any discernable amount. Maybe add some landscaping rocks or RR ties along a bank to form a staircase, sitting area? Or maybe a small patio & walled sitting area over-looking the stream up on the higher, level area?


Do it a little at a time over the years. Keep searching the literature for new ideas. Remember to add feeding stations for the birds and a pile of rocks for the snakes.
This is exactly what I was envisioning, certainly nothing on a large scale, and nothing that would involve machinery to do, just something to make it look better and natural rather than lawn up to some tall grass and weeds leading down and blocking the view of a little babbling brook.

The trees that are growing are not going anywhere, I was just looking for some ideas to make it look a little nicer. We do have quite a few little snake dens in the banks and often see a garden snake here and there, an occasional fox or coyote passing through, have several birds of prey around looking for squirrels and chipmunks, including an occasional owl at night which are pretty uncommon, but I have heard them more than once. Ducks often come to rest in the water, and not uncommon at the right time of year to have mama and her trail of babies walk through the yard to get down into the water. I have seen swans resting in there before as well. Some people may have walked away from this property due to the water, but I enjoy it.
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Old Yesterday, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,184 posts, read 52,398,001 times
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Enjoy it. Streams like that can just about vanish depending on development, vegetation, and insults to the water table.
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Old Yesterday, 10:19 AM
 
1,211 posts, read 366,492 times
Reputation: 1803
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
Yes, if it's a natural stream then most of it is outside of the OP's property. Only a very small part of the stream passes through the OP's property. The majority of the entire body of water starts at the source it comes from (which might be many miles away) and then all the many other properties that is passes through before and after it passes through OP's property. None of it can be interfered with from beginning to end without acquiring appropriate applications and approvals.


.
Yeah, we need a picture. When OP says the stream runs through their property and that they own 25' on the far side of the stream to the fence I'm picturing that there is the usual "near" side and that they also own the property from the house to the stream.
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Old Yesterday, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
13,911 posts, read 11,049,730 times
Reputation: 10262
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Enjoy it. Streams like that can just about vanish depending on development, vegetation, and insults to the water table.
I have a very small pond (about 20' in diameter and 5'deep) in a valley on my property. 40 years ago it kept water year round and now it goes dry almost every summer. I used to stock it; but not anymore. Too many new houses and too many new pools drawing off the water table.
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