Corps of Engineers open house

Good Turnout for the Corps of Engineers open house discussing Kinnickinnic River Ecosystem Restoration in River Falls, Wisconsin.

It was good to see many familiar faces at last Tuesday’s Kinnickinnic River open house held at the public library. This was an informal event with a number of informational stations manned by officials from the City of River Falls and the CORP of Engineers. Many River advocates lobbied on removal of both dams. A timeline can be found here

Please take some time to give written comments. These are due by September 15th. This fillable PDF may be printed and mailed as instructed or you may email your support for the removal of both dams to Trevor Cyphers at:

Update on campaign to remove Kinni Dams

Update on campaign to remove the Kinni dams

Recent Developments:

This fall, the City of River Falls agreed to engage the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) for their support of a dam removal project, via their Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Program. TheCOE project would involve removal of both dams and restoration of a one-mile reach of the Kinni.  n November 2022, the River Falls City Council voted to proceed with the initial COE feasibility study, at an estimated cost of $800,000. The COE will assume responsibility for the first $100,000 of the study, plus one-half of the remaining $700,000, leaving the City responsible for covering a $350,000 share.

To address some budgetary concerns that the City of River Falls communicated to stakeholders, Kinni Corridor Collaborative, Inc. (KinniCC), Trout Unlimited, and other community partners pledged a contribution of $175,000 (half of the City’s $350,000 share) to help fund the COE feasibility study.  To date, stakeholders working with KinniCC has raised $90,000 toward this goal, leaving a gap of $85,000 to fill by early 2023.

If you do not already know, the KinniCC is a community-led, non-profit (501(c)3) organization working with the City of River Falls and other stakeholders to implement the Kinnickinnic River Corridor Plan (KRCP), while preserving the river’s ecology and beauty.

As everyone knows, the Kinnickinnic River is a recreational treasure for our area, and we really need your help at this time to ensure the feasibility study proceeds by considering a generous donation. The KinniCC has set up a donation sight at Mighty Cause for this purpose. Thanks for your consideration.

Sponsors, Donors, and Partners

Platinum >$20K

Babcock RI Trust

Bye, Goff & Rohde Partners

Kiap-TU-Wish Chapter (WI)

Red Bottom Boat 2.0

Twin Cities TU Chapter (MN)

Wisconsin TU State Council

Gold >$5K-20K

Flygare, Tovah

Johnson, D. Kent

KinniCC Board of Directors

Mid-Missouri TU Chapter (MO)

Morrison, Sean

R4F Film Festival Team (2022)

River Sky Drones

TU Driftless Area Restoration

Silver >$1K – 5K

Benevity Fund

Blackhawk TU Chapter (WI)

Central WI TU Chapter (WI)

Coulee Region TU Chapter (WI)

D & C Brockway Charitable Fund

Elliott Donnelly TU Chapter (IL)

Frank Hornberg TU Chapter (WI)

Hanson, Amanda

Joyful Baseflow Fund

Lee Wulf TU Chapter (IL)

Marinette TU Chapter (WI)

Most, Betty

Peterson, Christina

Southeast WI TU Chapter (WI)

Southern WI TU Chapter (WI)

Vanden Bloomen, Dennis

Welter, John “Duke”

Wild River TU Chapter (WI)Wissota Hospitality/Country Inn

 Kinni Friends < $1K

Amazon Foundation (Smile)

Bob Mitchell’s Fly Shop

Brilliant Impact

Chambers, Rob

Dahm, Peter & Linda

Falls Theatre

Fischbach, Lawrence & Candy

Garry, Clarke

Goff, Steve

Horvath, Gary

Hub 70

Network for Good

Ostrow, Winston

Potts, Jack

Prin, Tom

Ritzinger, Mark & Jean

River Falls School District

Topple, Ben

WIN-CRES Chapter TU (MN)

Collaboration Partners (These partners have provided a letter of support and/or technical assistance)

  • American Rivers
  • Ecological Restoration Institute /     CAFEs– UWRF
  • Express Pro Employment Services
  • Feuerhelm, Langer & Nelson, CPA
  • First National Bank – River Falls
  • Friends of the Kinni
  • Friends of Willow River and Kinnickinnic State Parks
  • Freshwater Collaborative (UW System)
  • Grow To Share
  • Hope 4 Creation
  • Illinois State Council TU
  • Inter-Fluve
  • Kinni Conditions Facebook Group
  • Kinnickinnic River Land Trust
  • Mississippi River Regional Planning Commission
  • Meyers Creative
  • MGI Consulting
  • MightyCause
  • North Woods & Waters of the St Croix Heritage Area
  • Photography By Wurm
  • River Alliance Wisconsin
  • River Falls Chamber of Commerce
  • River Falls – Neighbors For Intentional Growth
  • River Management Society – Midwest Chapter
  • St Croix Valley Community Foundation
  • The Prairie Enthusiasts – St Croix Valley Chapter
  • Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • United States Fish & Wildlife Service

WI Trout Report – June 2022

The Chapter had a booth at the Fly-Fishing Expo in St. Paul which was held after a two-year hiatus from Covid. It was great seeing familiar and new faces with and interest in our activities.

At our April meeting WI DNR Habitat Specialist, Nate Anderson gave a recap on the WDNR projects of 2021 along with project update for 2022 along with news on easements. Senior Fisheries Biologist, Kasey gave a presentation titled “2021 Large Stream Survey and Rush River Creel Survey Results.” In May we had our last chapter meeting before our summer break.  The meeting was held at Rush River Brewing with Steve’s Pizza provided by the chapter. Chapter awards were presented with a lot of catching up with friends and tall fish tales.  

We finished off the winter ‘brushing season’ with a couple of final workdays in April.  The snow cover was totally gone but a couple of portable pumps and some garden hose, we were able to wet things down enough to negate the fire danger while continuing to burn the slash from the trees and brush we were cutting.  A total of 66 volunteers assisted over the course of the season with 34 individuals attending more than one workday.  At our May chapter meeting held at Rush River Brewing, 7 individuals were awarded a gift certificate for having participated in 10 or more of the brushing days.  John Skelton topped the list by attending 24 workdays followed closely by Jim Tatzel with 23.  The others who filled out the list were Dave Gregg, Dave Kozlovsky, Tom Anderson, Steve Cox and Trish Hannah.  With the lack of snow cover and the late arrival of spring, the ground remained frozen till the first week of April when Randy Arnold was able to get out in the field and drive in fence posts to install another 44 bluebird nest boxes.  Sites getting the boxes were the new restoration on Cady Creek just downstream of the Cty Rd. P bridge, Gilbert Creek downstream of the Hwy 29 bridge, the South Fork of the Kinni at the Hwy 29 easement, and at the county park on the Trimbelle just downstream of Hwy 10.  A workday was held just this past Tuesday where 8 volunteers joined Randy to assist with planting trees and shrubs at the new Cady Creek restoration.  Those helping were Don Fritz, Jim Tatzel, Dan Donahue, Charlie Schlatter, Michel Bevis, Steve Wardell.

Chapter volunteers Ken and Missie Hanson, Matt Janquart and family along with Dean Hansen braved a cold Earth Day April 26th in River Falls to staff our chapters booth at the event. Turnout was good considering the unfavorable weather. 

The Kiap TU Wish Chapter staffed one of three stations related to stream conservation as part of Rocky Branch Elementary’s annual “Eco-Week” celebration. Eco-Week is a full week of nature appreciation, outdoor service learning, and environmental education for all their students.  The 4th grade students, in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, participated in an electroshocking of a local tributary. Students observed four species of fish as they were collected, measured, weighed, and safely returned to the water. Students from the Renaissance Charter Academy’s “Wisconsin Waterways” high school course were also able to participate in the activity. Pairs of students captured invertebrates using D nets. Other students identified insects from charts and with the help of Dean Hansen and Kiap TU Wish members Dan Wilcox, Mark Peerenboom and Tom Schnadt. KIAP helped three Trout in the Classroom programs release their trout in Willow River State Park this May.  Along with the trout release, other activities included stream bug capture/identification and fly-casting lessons.  A great time was had by all.  Volunteers included:  Dean Hansen, John Ulman, Tom Schnadt, Ken Hanson, Missie Hanson, Patrick Sexton, Mark Peerenboom, Molly Barritt, and Greg Olson

Kiap TU Wish conducted our first STREAM Girls program on May 21st. The Ellsworth Rod and Gun Club was the host and reports were fantastic. A separate story can be found in this issue of Wisconsin Trout

Trout release volunteers Ken Hanson, Missie Hanson, Pat Sexton, Dean Hansen, and Mark Pereenboom
Those helping with tree planting from left to right:  Don Fritz. Brian Hoverson, Dan Donahoe, Dave Brockway, Charlie Schlatter, Steve Wardell, and Michel Bevis.
Kiap TU Wish STREAM Girls and volunteers in action.