Steelhead Habitat Study

MN DNR stream habitat study is underway...

Throughout the summer of 2007, Tracy Close, with student intern, Roger Peka, installed 24 pieces of large wood to determine if such structures could improve habitat for trout in North Shore streams (see image).

Pieces were placed in the West ranch of the Split Rock River, Upper Knife River, Little West Branch of the Knife River, and French River. Since few large trees are available in North Shore riparian zones, smaller trees were cut, pulled into the river channel using a chainsaw powered winch and bundled together with cable to simulate large trees. "We anticipate that if the pieces remain in place, flood flows will scour a pocket below the piece as it diverts flow to the center of the stream and smaller pieces of wood will accumulate upstream of the large piece providing nutrients and overhead cover for fish." Changes to stream substrates and fish abundance will be monitored for several years to determine if the anticipated benefits occur.

Information provided by the MN DNR


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