Dredging of the stream bed has occurred repeatedly in Wheeling Creek and other regional streams. Dredging occurred historically, as can be seen by closely examining the 1890s photographs under Environmental History. Compare the 1890 photos with the Scene on Big Wheeling Creek, 1904. Note the shape of the stream banks, vegetation along the bank, vegetation in the stream, and the cobbles in the stream bed.
Dredging a stream involves removing large rocks and cobble. In the Wheeling Creek watershed, rocks were dredged from streams to provide fill material during early road and railroad building activities. More recently, dredging occurred in response to flooding of roadways and suburban areas along lower Wheeling Creek.
Large machines in small streams cause obvious
disruption of the stream bed and a short-term siltation event that could be harmful to
downstream communities. Perhaps, more important, the removal of large rocks and cobble
takes away an important habitat for plants and animals. Dredging often leaves a stream bed
with small, uniform-size rocks. Some species of fish, amphibians, and insects require
areas with large rocks for cover, feeding, and even for the placement of eggs. Left: Fish eggs on the bottom of this rock. Photo: Courtesy of Kenneth E. Rastall
HTML code by Chris Kreger
Maintained by ETE Team
Last updated November 10, 2004
Some images © 2004 www.clipart.com
Privacy Statement and Copyright © 1997-2004 by Wheeling Jesuit University/NASA-supported Classroom of the Future. All rights reserved.
Center for Educational Technologies, Circuit Board/Apple graphic logo, and COTF Classroom of the Future logo are registered trademarks of Wheeling Jesuit University.