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Three trout streams restored thanks to Outdoor Heritage Fund

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.

Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Joshua Abell on 11/10/2009 - 12:43 pm.

    sounds cool, but what does it mean to be restored? What were the streams like before and after?

  2. Submitted by Danny McConnell on 11/10/2009 - 01:59 pm.

    I volunteered down at the Vermillion project. Its worth noting that Friends of the Mississippi were also involved in the that project. Restoration at the Vermillion included planting native trees along the banks of the river to reinforce the banks and prevent erosion. Trees also shade the water, thus keeping it cooler and more hospitable for native trout populations. Trout Unlimited also often installs structure for fish to use.

  3. Submitted by dan buechler on 11/10/2009 - 01:59 pm.

    Thanks for the story. FYI Josh in the Laporte creek restoration project the stream banks were eroding because of cattle from a nearby farm. The fenced off this area with the cooperation from the local landowner/farmer.

  4. Submitted by John Helland on 11/10/2009 - 03:03 pm.

    This is a very good thing! Trout streams are a significant harbinger of good natural resources habitat. Let’s do them all over the next 25 years!

  5. Submitted by thomas labandz on 07/29/2010 - 10:58 am.

    l am a enthusiatic fly fisherman ,a conservationist,who fully supports efforts to mantain and restore trout streams,l think it is critcal to preserve our natural resources .l am a artist who is inspired by natures beauty and have donated several paintings to Trouts Unlimimted for there cause ! Great to see there moving forward!

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