The water level of the Niagara River and Buckhorn Island Marsh has been lowered over time due to the diversion of water for power and industrial use, decreasing the quality of the marsh habitat. State and Federal agencies, with the support of Town government and many volunteers have begun an effort to restore water levels, native plants, and open water in the marsh. In March 1996, construction began on the east weir (small dam) to catch and keep standing water. An inlet channel was dug out of the marsh to create more open water and bring water into the marsh. Nesting platforms were built to provide nesting sites for ospreys that travel the Niagara River corridor during migration. In June 1997, construction of the west weir began. All construction was scheduled to minimize disturbance to breeding marsh birds. Because the former channel of Burnt Ship Creek filled in with cattails and sediment, water was unable to pass from the Niagara River to fill the marsh. Marsh soils were removed to create open water habitat for marsh wildlife. Muskellunge, Northern pike, and largemouth bass are part of the Niagara River's world class fishery. Historically, the marsh at Buckhorn Island State Park provided excellent spawning and nursery habitat for Northern pike. Construction of the open water channel
through the marsh reestablishes more suitable spawning habitat for Northern pike, encourages a more diverse plant community, and provides more habitat for prey species for pike fingerlings. Fish of Buckhorn Island State Park. Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Muskellunge.