Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


, Robert

Committee Member

Cox, Michael

Committee Member

Moore, Matthew

Committee Member

Boyd, Christopher

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Low grade rip rap weirs installed in agricultural surface drainage ditches manage downstream eutrophication by slowing water flow, allowing sediments time to settle out of the water column and phosphorus (P) to sorb to soil. A laboratory experiment was conducted in microcosm chambers to simulate increased hydraulic residence time caused by weirs and two field studies were conducted to compare experimental data with field data and determine sediment deposition rates. One field study monitored weirs monthly after installation and the other measured weirs of varying ages. Weirs retained significantly more water and sediment than controls. Longer inundation times led to abiotic factors known to release P during hydrologic flux, but did not translate to reduced P storage. By converting intermittently inundated sediments into more consistently saturated sediments, weirs function as a viable conservation practice for about a year until temporary P retention mechanisms and sediment retention capacities are reached.