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Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Small water quality basin is a big gift to future fish

At White's Creek along U.S. 395 south of Reno, a 2.04-acre water quality basin built by the Nevada Department of Transportation offers long-term benefits for fish throughout the watershed. During spring runoff, White's Creek flows over its banks and into the basin, where the water is filtered and returned to the creek. White's Creek drains to the Truckee River - a pristine trout fishery - and the river flows to Pyramid Lake - home to the threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout and the endangered cui-ui suckerfish. The basin removes granite-soil sediment that would otherwise end up in the river and, over time, bury fish-gravel spawning beds and deplete oxygen supplies for fish and other aquatic life. What's more, the basin has retained surface water year-round, stimulating the growth of cattails and other native plants. The project has turned a tumbleweed-infested dust bowl into a lush oasis for mallards, muskrats, western toads, and other wildlife species.
 
--Apr 25, 2003

Christopher Ennes, (775) 888-7690 or cennes@dot.state.nv.us

Water quality basin at White's Creek seven years after construction showing vegetation growth
Photo by Tim Jupin, Nevada Department of Transportation
Water quality basin at White's Creek seven years after construction

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On or Along Waterways - Nevada
Updated: 12/12/2012
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