Goplin’s Wildlife Science class Board members Tom Sather and Jim Erickson head the social media committee, along with the huge help of chapter member Jesse Burgin of InkSignals Design and Printing. He brings a wealth of social media knowledge and tremendous artistic and visual skills. We are being intentional in our use of these social media platforms to connect and engage our Wisconsin Clear Waters Trout Unlimited chapter with cold water resources, the trout fishing community, and the local community and beyond. We’d love to share your original photos, images, flies, and content on social media, just send them to us at the email below and we’ll be sure to credit you.
The Buffalo County Natural Resource Internship offers a college student, majoring in a natural resource-related field, the opportunity to work hands-on with county, state, and federal government agencies; some of these agencies include: Buffalo County Land Conservation
Department, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Natural Resource Conservation Service. The internship starts in mid-May and ends at the end of August. The student works 35-40 hours per week and is awarded a $6,000 scholarship funded by generous contributors (Clear Waters donated $400.00)
On a crisp morning about 15 Whitehall High School students, led by their agriculture instructor Melinda Goplin met up with Pleasantville landowner Rob Herman. The students came with a trailer full of hand tools and a “can do” attitude to work on a local trout stream running through Tom Johnson’s farm.
Fishing opportunities are growing in Trempealeau and Buffalo county streams as a result of a growing partnership between landowners, local schools, government agencies, rod and gun clubs and the Clearwaters TU chapter. Named streams such as the Elk and the Waumandee have benefitted from project work. But today the students were gathered on a tributary of the Elk so small that it is simply designated as C-11-17, working on improvements that will hopefully result in increased natural reproduction of brook trout.
Students enrolled in Goplin’s Wildlife Science class spend a day working on stream projects each fall and spring. Herman has developed partnerships with Goplin and other high school science and agriculture teachers over the past 16 years.
“The students learn not only about trout, but the whole ecosystem. They begin to get the big picture,” Goplin said.
In a morning of hard work, the students installed a table structure and a weir. They also brushed an area of the stream, placed rocks in and around the banks and participated in a Wisconsin DNR fish survey.
“I love it out here,” said 11th grade student Ashley Humphreys. “I’m learning about how you can restore creeks and help fish. The fish need deep holes and improving the stream helps with erosion. We’re kinda a helping hand for nature.”
Herman has created an amazing network of connections in his quest to heal Trempealeau and Buffalo County watersheds. Over fifty landowners have granted easements and provided other assistance for stream rehabilitation. Farmers benefit the decrease in erosion projects bring, but they also appreciate the fishing opportunities they create. “I don’t mind people coming to fish because I fish on other people’s easements too,” said Elk Creek landowner Dan Gray.
According to Herman, the biggest challenge related to stream improvement is funding. It typically takes 2-10 years to plan, find funding and execute a habitat project. Each government agency has specific criteria for the type of project work they will fund. Some prefer to only fund erosion control. Others will fund habitat improvement. Many times a stream project needs to be divided foot by foot with different organizations funding their priorities to make a project work.
“I love to drive by a stream and have the satisfaction of knowing what it was like before and then seeing the results of our work. I see more people fishing where we remove a close canopy of box elders and create a more stable stream environment.
Author Peter Jonas
Chippewa Cty Hay Creek Work Day August 26, 2019
Nate Anderson fromt the DNR request for volunteers is plannin a mulching day Monday the 26th. Nate could use 6-8 volunteers to help. The straw will be delivered at 10am so if people could show up before 10 to help unload the straw. Everything will be seeded so we will need 1 -2 people on the mulcher and the rest to shuffle straw to the mulcher. We should be done by early afternoon. People can bring rubber boots, gloves and some water.
We will still work with light rain but if it is raining hard, we will use Tues for a backup plan.
Let us know if you won’t be able to come up with enough volunteers by Friday and we can figure something out.
Thanks! Nate Anderson DNR