Clear Waters Cold and Stream Restoration Projects
TROUT UNLIMITED EXECUTIVE LINK TO SUMMARY
Fishing for trout is a passion shared by countless anglers across the country. The challenge of catching a monster Lahontan cutthroat trout from Nevada’s Pyramid Lake or a salter brook trout from a coastal stream in Massachusetts can be rewarding and frustrating all at the same time. As a fly-fishing author, John Gierach described it, “If people don’t occasionally walk away from you shaking their heads, you’re doing something wrong.”
The beauty and diversity of trout attract the artist and photographer as well as the angler. Not only are the fish themselves works of art, but they occur in some of the most beautiful settings the country has to offer, from small gurgling country streams to high-mountain lakes to sweeping western rivers.
Unfortunately, neither the status of native trout nor their habitat is secure. During the past century, trout have declined as a result of land development, overfishing, water pollution, poor timber and livestock grazing practices and the introduction of non-native fishes and other aquatic invasive species. Stocking of hatchery trout has swamped the genes of the native trout through hybridization and competition.
Stream restoration describes a set of activities that help improve the environmental health of a river or stream. These activities aim to restore the natural state and functioning of the river system in support of biodiversity, recreation, flood management and landscape development.
Expanded habitat may improve health for:
- Aquatic insects
Enhancements may also include:
- Improved water quality
- Reduction of pollutant levels
- Increase dissolved oxygen levels
Restoration activities may range from a simple removal of a disturbance which inhibits natural stream function repairing or replacing a culvert, or removing barriers to fish such as weirs to stabilization of stream banks.
Successful restoration projects begin with a careful study of the stream system and creating a collaborative relationship between governmental agencies such as NRCS, TURARE, local fish and game originations, and the Wisconsin DNR. However, the most significant association that will enhance a successful stream restoration begins with you.