Three trout streams around the state have been restored with funds from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, one of the projects that gets money from the additional sales tax money generated by the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy constitutional amendment passed in 2008.
Minnesota Trout Unlimited chapters are using a $2,050,000 grant to clean up 12 streams in 10 counties. Three were finished this fall. The grant was approved by the Legislature after being recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.
Here are descriptions of the completed projects:
- The Twin Cities Chapter of Trout Unlimited restored a 3/4-mile stretch on the Vermillion River near Farmington in Dakota County, on a 46-acre site that was purchased by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in 2008. Twin Cities TU volunteers also restored 2,200 feet of Hay Creek near Red Wing, using nonstate funds as part of their “match” for 2010 fieldwork being funded from the Outdoor Heritage Fund.
- Volunteers from the Hiawatha Chapter of Trout Unlimited, in cooperation with the Department of Natural Resources Lanesboro regional fisheries office and local contractors, repaired and improved a 3.1-mile stretch of the Middle Branch of the Whitewater and Crow Spring in Olmsted County.
- The Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited worked to restore Kabekona Creek, near Laporte, in north central Minnesota, one of the state’s premier brook trout fisheries. This collaborative effort included the local landowner, DNR Fisheries, and members of the Headwaters Chapter, who volunteered over 180 hours to plan, prepare, and carry out the project. Additional savings were gained from donated material and equipment.
In the spring, Trout Unlimited chapters will continue work, with the Minnesota DNR and other conservation groups, to complete these projects:
- Hay Creek in Goodhue County;
- Lawndale Creek in Wilkin County;
- Little Rock Creek in Benton County;
- Mill Creek in Fillmore County;
- Pickwick Creek in Winona County;
- Trout Run Creek in Fillmore County;
- Straight River in Becker and Hubbard counties;
- Sucker River in St. Louis County;
- Another project on the Vermillion River in Dakota County.
The goal is to restore more than 14 miles of trout stream habitat by June 2011.
The three-eighths of a percent additional sales tax for the Legacy Amendment iss expected to generate $234 million a year for environmental and arts projects.