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potential wetlands on your property to help understand the ecological value of your property and to help design projects.
wetlands through land use planning, acquisition and wetland protection laws.
wetlands to improve wetland health and function and by re-establishing destroyed wetlands.
wetland losses through restoration, enhancement and establishment.

Wetland clues checklist

Use this checklist to help you identify clues wetlands may be present on a property; walk the property, including wooded areas, and answer the questions below.

A. Is there evidence of water?

  1. Are there ponds, lakes, streams, springs or seeps?
    Pheasant Brank creek and tower
  2. Are there "low spots" where water collects or the ground is soggy for at least a week?
    Ephemeral Pond Low Area
  3. Are there drainage channels or has the site been ditched or tiled in spots to "dry it out?"
    Kilbourn Ditch
  4. If the site is a farm field, are there areas where crops do not grow or the plants are stunted or yellowing during years with normal rainfall?
    Crop Stress
  5. Are there water marks or stains on tree trunks?
    Water Stains
  6. Do trees have a shallow root system?
    Shallow Roots Shallow Roots
  7. Are there areas where water has scoured away plants and leaves, flattened vegetation or where no vegetation is growing?
    Flattend Vegetation from water
  8. Are sticks, leaves, soil and other debris deposited by water in a line on plants and trees?
    Drift Lines

B. Are water-loving plants present?

  1. Are these plants present: cattails, reed canary grass, sedges, rushes, blue flag iris, joe-pye-weed, new england aster, sensitive fern, skunk cabbage or sphagnum moss?
    Marsh Broad Leaf Cattails Arrowhead GiantBur-reed Soft Stem Bulrush Wet meadow Sedges with Joe Pye Weed Tussock Sedge Hummock New England Aster Blue Flag Iris Reed Canary Grass Canada Blue Join Blue Vervain Joe Pye Weed Marsh Marigold Marsh Milkweed Sensitive Fern Wool Grass Boneset Jewel Weed Impatiens Angelica Sawtooth Sunflower Beggars Tick Bidens Smartweed
  2. Are these shrubs present: dogwoods, willows, alder, leatherleaf, spiraea or blueberry?
    Scrub Shrub Red Osier Dogwood Sandbar Willow Alder Spiraea Open Bog Leatherleaf Blueberry Sphagnum Moss Cotton Grass
  3. Are these trees present: willows, silver maple, box elder, black or green ash, cottonwood, elm, balsam fir, tamarack or spruce?
     Trout Lake Conifer Swamp Tamarack Black Spruce American Elm Cottonwood Silver Maple Green Ash Swamp White Oak White Cedar Cinnamon Fern Skunk Cabbage Martins Woods
  4. Do plants have roots growing from their stems above the soil?
    Adventitious Roots
  5. Do trees have multiple trunks or are the trunks expanded or swollen at the base?
    Multiple Trunks

C. Are there wet soils or signs of them?

Dig a hole down 20 inches:

  1. Is the soil dark brown or black?
    Hydric Soil on Right
  2. Does soil the feel moist or can you squeeze out water? [Not pictured]
  3. Is the soil primarily peat (decaying plants) or muck? [Not pictured]
  4. Is the soil primarily peat (decaying plants) or muck?
    Water in Pit
  5. Is the soil gray, gray-blue or gray-green or marked with reddish or yellowish spots or dark streaks?
    gray soils
  6. Are there crayfish burrows -- mounds of dirt with a hole?
    Crayfish hole
Last revised: Thursday August 16 2012