Our first project of the field season was on Gilbert Creek in Dunn County. The project is located within Gilbert Creek Fisheries Area and on Gene Holte’s easement and is 1,300 feet in length. This project is in cooperation with the Clear Waters Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Dunn County Fish and Game Assn, and Dunn County. This project was a continuation of past 3 years of trout habitat projects along this section of Gilbert Creek. Gilbert creek is a Brook trout reserve stream that has had numerous habitat projects completed on it and this newly acquired easement will allow us to tie in many years of habitat work together. It is a highly visible section, just off HWY 29 which will allow the public to safely park off the busy Hwy in a 75×50 parking lot. Work started on 5/9/22 and project was complete on 5/24/22. We created 1 rock island, 3 spawning riffles, 98 root wads and used 3,025 tons of rock which comes out to 2.3 tons per stream foot.
Our second project of the year was on Sand Creek in northeast Dunn County. This is a highly visible project that enhanced habitat and access to the stream in the park of the town of Sand Creek. It is now a great spot for senior citizens and the youth to fish due to the location and access from a parking area with the potential of catching a trophy brown trout. We partnered with ClearWaters TU, and the Town of Sand Creek. Work started on 5/25/22 and project was complete on 6/15/22. Total distance is 650 feet. We installed 8 LUNKERS, 1 plunge pool, 5 riffles and 1 rock v weir and hauled in 440 tons of black dirt, used 1,325 tons of shot rock and 125 bales of straw. We removed all old, unstable and unsafe trees within the park and will plant more trees in the near future.
Our next project was on the Trimbelle River-Halvorson easement. This project was partnered with KiapTUwish Trout Unlimited. We completed 3,200 feet with potential for more stream footage downstream on the same landowner’s property/easement. Native species such as Ash, Oak and Maple will be left standing to provide some shade, but this site is a horse pasture with very short turf grass. The project started on 6/20/22 and we finished on 8/16/22. We installed 22 riffles, 41 root wads, created 5 islands, 5 back water refuges, 2 ERO’s, 5 rock v weirs and 1 cross log while also adding too many to count mid-stream boulders and boulder clusters. We used 7,500 tons of shot rock @ $7.98/ton which comes out to 2.34 tons per stream foot and 400 bales of straw @ $8.00/bale and 900 pounds of Orchard grass.
The final project of the field season took place on the headwaters of Gilbert creek, which is owned by the State. We completed 1,550 feet with 1,550 more feet to be finished next field season. We started 8/17/22 and we finished up for the year on 9/15/22. Thirty-six root wads, 3 ERO’s, 16 riffles and 3 backwater refuges were installed. This project site will make for great spawning areas for Brook trout once we are able to flush out the fine sediment and create more spawning riffles.