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Solution: Streambank & Shoreline Stabilization

Streambank and Shoreline Stabilization:  Protecting a stream or other body of water by re-shaping and stabilizing the bank and excluding livestock.


How it Works

Photo of streambank and Shoreline Stabilization.

Where stream banks are eroded, they are re-shaped and seeded, and sometimes protected with rock rip-rap or seeded with bio-engineering materials. In some cases a special wood structure (lunker) is fitted into the bank to stabilize it and provide fish habitat. Stabilizing the streambank or shoreline protects water quality, improves fish habitat, and the vegetation provides habitat for birds and small animals. Fencing restricts livestock access to the bank or shore, with the exception of controlled areas for drinking or crossing.


  • If you have livestock, plan to install an alternate watering system away from the stream, or a stream crossing that can also provide access to water.
  • In areas that are prone to flooding, single or double wire electric fences with flexible line posts may be more practical than other types of fence.
  • Remove large obstacles such as logs and stumps from the stream bed if they are causing turbulence along the banks. (Check with the local DNR office for possible permit requirements.)


  • Keep fences repaired.
  • Remove off-stream watering systems in winter, if necessary.
  • Control undesirable tree growth.

Questions?  Ask a Conservationist!