Louisville, Ky. — Stantec, and partners EcoGro/Ridgewater were honored for restoring Kentucky’s most popular fishing attraction with an Engineering Excellence Award from the American Council of Engineers of Kentucky ACEC-KY). The team received the award for their work on the Hatchery Creek Stream Restoration Project. The project was also nominated by ACEC to compete at the national level, and winners will be announced at the ACEC’s 50th Anniversary EEA Dinner and Gala Award Ceremony on April 25, 2017.
The Hatchery Creek Stream Restoration Project created Kentucky’s first man-made self-sustaining trout stream by rehabilitating one of the most heavily-fished locations in the state. The popularity of the Jamestown, Kentucky stream was causing the fish population to dwindle, channels and banks to erode, and campground property to fall into a ravine.
The Team solved all these problems with a custom design that copied natural function to support all life stages of trout. Stantec Senior Principal and Hatchery Creek Principal-in-Charge, George Athanasakes, PE, says it was a once-in-a-career type project, “There were many unique aspects about Hatchery Creek that we don’t typically encounter, and we needed to study the trout life-cycle in-depth. We literally drew the different life stages of trout on a board and discussed the optimum stream types and habitats needed for each life stage.” The Team developed a targeted, customized stream design, created an innovative experimental device that helps promote fish spawning, and funded all the work without using state general money, fishing, or hunting license fees.
Opening to the public in April 2016, the Hatchery Creek Project is already a success. The first few months have brought in increased tourism dollars and increased traffic for Jamestown restaurants, lodges, and businesses, drawing in 25% more visitors than prior years. It’s also adding value as an educational tool, serving as a research project location for students studying stream stability, vegetation success, and fish colonization. “Hatchery Creek is a widely-used Kentucky treasure, and we are pleased to give the fishing and camping community a world-class destination they can visit for generations,” says Athanasakes.
The annual ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards is an annual design competition that recognizes outstanding engineering achievements on the state and then nationwide level. Entries are rated on the basis of uniqueness and originality; technical value to the engineering profession; social and economic considerations; complexity; and how successfully the project meets the needs of the client.