Hatchery Creek is the outlet for the Wolf Creek Dam Trout Hatchery located immediately downstream of the Wolf Creek dam, which forms Lake Cumberland. When water level fluctuations below the dam impaired trout spawning within the Cumberland River, the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) needed a design-build team to step in and find a solution.
Using in-lieu fee funding, KDFWR hired Stantec and EcoGro/Ridgewater to design and build a downstream extension of Hatchery Creek to create a self-sustaining trout stream capable of supporting trout spawning.
We completed a geomorphic assessment, preliminary and final design, and assisted with permitting, hydraulic modeling, jurisdictional waters determinations, construction observation services, as-built survey, and post-construction monitoring. The project design included a variety of stream types including A, C, and D channels, and we constructed a variety of wetlands and vernal pools in the braided D-channel sections.
Plus, we designed a step pool system in the lower portion to promote fish passage from the Cumberland River up into Hatchery Creek, allowing for spawning. We also imported spawning gravel to provide suitable habitat for spawning.
The final design consists of approximately 6,000 linear feet of channel with dozens of oxbow features, and numerous in-stream structures including toe wood, log vanes, boulder clusters, step pools, and a variety of riffles.