Chippewa County Hay Creek Project

Hay Creek Press Release

The Wisconsin ClearWaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited(WCWTU) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources(WDNR), in conjunction with local landowners, announce a joint plan for the restoration of a section of Hay Creek in Chippewa County. Work is planned to begin in the winter of 2018-2019.

WCWTU will contribute substantial funds and manpower and will take the lead in soliciting additional assistance from local sportsmen clubs and businesses. WDNR will contribute trout stamp funds and works crews toward project completion.

Hay Creek is a Class I trout stream that meanders for six miles through western Chippewa County before it empties into Duncan Creek.  It is home to a native brook trout population that is sustained entirely by natural reproduction.  The density is well above the average for western WI with about 2,500 brook trout per mile.  However, due to a lack of habitat, there is about 1,200 brook trout per mile in the proposed project site downstream of 93rd Street (map attached). The proposed site for the habitat improvement project has the potential to have a brook trout density equal to or above that of the rest of the stream if the right practices are implemented.  This habitat project will add to the long history of trout habitat work that was completed in Hay Creek the 1960s and 1970s.  Much of the habitat work is accessible to the public, including the proposed site, because easements provide angler access along almost the entirety of the stream.

Hay Creek has excellent water quality and has been designated a brook trout reserve stream by the Wisconsin DNR. Brook trout reserve streams are streams where brook trout will likely persist into the future given the current climatic projections.  Reserve streams have healthy brook trout populations, strong ground water input (modeled), and low catches of non-native salmonids.  Reserve streams are given priority when it comes to easement acquisition, trout habitat improvement projects and native plantings that will provide future shading.  Additionally, Hay Creek is an important coldwater tributary Duncan Creek, which is thermally challenged due to an upstream impoundment.  Hay Creek likely provides thermal refuge for trout from Duncan Creek during warm stretches in the summer and it also is a seed source for brook trout recruitment into Duncan Creek.

For additional information contact Wisconsin ClearWaters Trout Unlimited thru its web site at wcwtu.com

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