Surface Water Hydrology and Hydraulics - Watersheds, Illinois State Water Survey

Surface Water Hydrology and Hydraulics

LaSalle County

Geomorphic and In-Channel Habitat Assessment of South Kickapoo Creek at Marseilles

Principal Investigators: William P. White

Project Staff: John Beardsley, Jon Rodsater, Long Duong

Sponsor: Illinois Environmental Protection Agency

Project Period: September 2010 - July 2011

South Kickapoo Creek is located in La Salle County, Illinois near Marseilles and is a bluff ravine system of the upper Illinois River valley. The watershed is 4,769 acres at 7.5 square miles excluding Lake La Salle severe erosion is occurring in South Kickapoo Creek near Marseilles Fish and Wildlife Area. Inspection of the site revealed a massive headcut caused by a breach in a man-made dyke around a deep abandoned gravel pit. The stream had been perched above the gravel pit at an estimated height of 30 to 50 feet. It was estimated that the headcutting process rapidly cut into the existing streambed by over 9 feet depositing stream bed material into the now adjoining lake. Streambed materials are being transported downstream plugging the outflow culverts of the lake at a downstream crossing and causing the road to flood. Pool and Riffle grade control design was developed to address the breach area and advancing headcuts. Geomorphic and habitat assessments are being conducted to document stream channel adjustments in the critically affected area and to evaluate stream channel conditions throughout the watershed.

Findings to Date:

Initial geomorphologic and habitat assessment information indicate that unstable and critically unstable stream channel segments exist in the majority of the assessment area. The assessment clarifies the need to target in-channel restoration and watershed resource management in much of the assessed area. Designs and permits have been approved for restoration.

Project Publications:

White, W. P., J. Beardsley, 2009, "Draft", South Kickapoo Creek at Marseilles Fish and Wildlife Area, Prepared for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Resource Conservation, Illinois State Water Survey, Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Ill

Site inspection of the breach area on South Kickapoo Creek.
Looking upstream at massive headcut near breach area on South Kickapoo Creek.
ISWS and IDNR staff survey South Kickapoo Creek.
Project staff conducting stream channel assessments at the breach area on South Kickapoo Creek.
Project staff conducting stream channel assessments on South Kickapoo Creek.


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