In May 2009 the Minnesota Legislature appropriated $2,050,000 to enable Minnesota Trout Unlimited to undertaken trout stream habitat improvement projects in 10 counties around the state. In March 2009 the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council had recommended full funding of MNTU’s proposal to improve coldwater habitat in eleven streams. By June 2011 over 14 miles of streams will be restored and enhanced by MNTU’s seven chapters with the assistance of the Minnesota DNR and other conservation groups. The projects will stabilize stream banks, improve water quality, and increase habitat for trout and non-game species.
How does this impact steelhead on the North Shore? Well, it really doesn't directly, but it does help improve fish and fishing quality on a section of accessible trout water on a great North Shore watershed - The Sucker River.
The Sucker River project will restore and enhance year-round adult trout cover and habitat to provide a stable brook trout fishery. Work includes adding woody cover and rock veining along 1,300 feet of river, seeding of disturbed areas with native vegetation, tree planting and fending to protect plantings.
The project area is approximately 9.5 miles upstream from Lake Superior, above a barrier that prevents upstream migration from anadromous fish such as our steelhead. Even though this habitat improvement is not directly affecting steelhead habitat, is does help improve an important fish and fishery.
For more info please visit MNTU to read the full summery and see the maps and project overview.
We have been in contact with our friends and MNTU, offering an extra hand as needed to help implement further improvements. Stay tuned, as we will post further information on this project as it becomes available.
For those of you outside the Twin Cities, Chris Niskanen is the long-time Outdoors Editor for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He covers just about everything that has to do with the outdoors across the Midwest. He also runs the Outdoors Now blog - a great blog too I might add! Today he featured a story on his blog that pertains to the previous post here on Minnesota Steelheader.
You can click here to read this story about a fall day fishing....enjoy.