Mac-O-Chee Creek Restoration
A 1,500-foot section of Mac-O-Chee Creek is once again meandering through western Ohio thanks to a floodplain restoration project completed in 2008 that returned the creek to its natural state. The floodplain restoration effort was a cooperative effort between the Division of Wildlife, Piatt Castles
, and Oxbow River & Stream Restoration, Inc
The Mac-O-Chee was straightened in the early 1900s, a once-common practice. Straightened streams often lack features such as floodplains, pools and riffles that provide important fish habitat and flood water storage.
Floodplain are natural filters when streams reach flood stage, breaking down pollutants and trapping sediments, and helping to prevent flood damage by storing water during flood events.
Restoring the Mac-O-Chee’s floodplain and putting the meander back the creek will enable it to support greater populations of fish such as the brown trout – a popular target of Ohio anglers – and the endangered tongue-tied minnow. Anglers will have the opportunity to experience the improved habitat first hand as the entire restored area is open for fishing. The restored stream will also be a focal point for the Piatt Castle's land conservation program.
Vegetation has been planted along the shore to create a natural environment, allowing pollutants to be filtered by the plants, keep water temperatures low, maintain healthy levels of dissolved oxygen, and create fish and wildlife habitat.
The majority of the funding for the project came from the Division of Wildlife’s Wildlife Diversity & Endangered Species Fund. Funding also was provided by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program.