Driftless Trout Anglers

Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

4 Pages123>»
Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
billybigbilly  
#1 Posted : Monday, July 15, 2019 7:29:53 PM(UTC)
billybigbilly
Rank: Midge

Joined: 7/9/2017(UTC)
Posts: 102
Man
Location: Central MN

Thanks: 33 times
Was thanked: 14 time(s) in 12 post(s)
Hey everyone, What are your thoughts on habitat improvement that is done on many of the streams in the driftless. Do you like fishing them, does it work, whats better in your opinion old (lunkers and stone) vs new (trees and woody structures), and if we shouldn't be spending money on HI what should we, easements stocking ect? This is only my third year of trout fishing and 2nd year of fishing in the driftless and since I haven't been confident to do longer outings (4 hours plus) I usually stick to eased stretches, and because of that I see a lot of HI, I have been doing more trips in more remotes streams now but when ever I fish a HI stretch I am not to impressed. I find a lot of the parts are mucky, fishing where they have logs sticking out of the bank is always a challenge not to get snagged and the fishing never dramatically improves in the HI stretch. So what are your guy's thoughts on HI and ways that you fish it?
Sponsor
madguy30  
#2 Posted : Monday, July 15, 2019 9:12:54 PM(UTC)
madguy30
Rank: May Fly

Joined: 2/24/2013(UTC)
Posts: 360

Thanks: 2 times
Was thanked: 13 time(s) in 12 post(s)
I understand the general idea behind keeping a stream cool and providing spots for fish to hide but it gets way less interesting when you're basically fishing under boards.

And some favorite stretches of streams over the years I don't even go to after I arrive and a whole many mile stretch has been turned into a golf course with water running through it.

To each their own.
NBrevitz  
#3 Posted : Monday, July 15, 2019 9:24:23 PM(UTC)
NBrevitz
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 3/16/2013(UTC)
Posts: 1,536
Man
Location: Lake Elmo, Mn

Thanks: 57 times
Was thanked: 71 time(s) in 58 post(s)
I’m a fan of long lasting improvements such as wing dams. Bank covers are frustrating to fish at times, but it helps the fish, so I’m ok with them as long as they aren’t all over the place. I’m not a fan of massive projects that look extra manicured.

The best HI in my mind is when you place brush on inside corners. Silt will get trapped and collect there. This narrows the stream channel, removes silt that might cause problems further downstream, and deflects current to the outside bank, creating your undercut naturally.

I much prefer fishing wild looking stuff, but I realize HI is necessary on some streams with issues.
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
Smis  
#4 Posted : Monday, July 15, 2019 9:29:05 PM(UTC)
Smis
Rank: Midge

Joined: 5/28/2018(UTC)
Posts: 36
United States
Location: Chicago

Thanks: 25 times
Was thanked: 9 time(s) in 7 post(s)
My experience with habitat improvement has been very positive. Do certain HIs (lunker structures, silt traps, etc... ) always work or serve their intended function? No, but overall I think they improve my fishing experience.

Also I think it's important to acknowledge that the primary function of HIs is to improve habitat (duh), but this doesn't necessarily mean their immediate purpose is to improve fishing. The purpose of HIs is to create an environment where trout can reproduce and sustain themselves naturally. This means cold, fast flowing, oxygenated water with spawning gravel and a food source (insects). HIs are not meant to make fishing easier, although they often do just by producing a larger population of fish. One of my favorite streams has massive root wads running right down the gut of every one of its runs. Do they get in the way of where I want to put my flies? Yes, but they also help reinforce the banks and provide fish cover from mediocre fishermen like me.

So my point is HIs improve fishing indirectly by creating an environment that helps produce, protect, and sustain wild trout populations. Something else to consider is that stretches of rivers that have received HIs are no secret and will attract more fishing pressure.

With all that said streams without HIs can be excellent. "Marginal waters" often hold a smaller populations of larger fish. However, these same streams might be prone to erosion which silts up the river bed, slows stream flows, which in turn, warms up the water. So even if there is a population of trout in these marginal waters during certain times of the year, I'd bet most of those fish are moving into more traditional trout waters (i.e. what HIs are trying to create) when these marginal waters are less habitable.

- Steve

JGF  
#5 Posted : Monday, July 15, 2019 9:31:59 PM(UTC)
JGF
Rank: Midge

Joined: 5/4/2016(UTC)
Posts: 123
Man
United States
Location: Wisconsin

Thanks: 14 times
Was thanked: 20 time(s) in 17 post(s)
Originally Posted by: billybigbilly Go to Quoted Post
Hey everyone, What are your thoughts on habitat improvement that is done on many of the streams in the driftless. Do you like fishing them, does it work, whats better in your opinion old (lunkers and stone) vs new (trees and woody structures), and if we shouldn't be spending money on HI what should we, easements stocking ect? This is only my third year of trout fishing and 2nd year of fishing in the driftless and since I haven't been confident to do longer outings (4 hours plus) I usually stick to eased stretches, and because of that I see a lot of HI, I have been doing more trips in more remotes streams now but when ever I fish a HI stretch I am not to impressed. I find a lot of the parts are mucky, fishing where they have logs sticking out of the bank is always a challenge not to get snagged and the fishing never dramatically improves in the HI stretch. So what are your guy's thoughts on HI and ways that you fish it?


Boy, a lot to unpack there...

In terms of fishing, I'm not sure how much of it is that fishing somewhere remote means less pressured fish which accounts for better fishing? Particularly this time of year, a lot of the HI reaches are tough fishing because many lack shade.

Personally, I think a lot of the habitat improvements were pretty necessary and that a lot of the effects are not just in the improved reaches. Many underestimate just how different the landscape is now compared to what it looked like before Europeans got here. There are MANY feet of cultural sediment in the valleys that used to be on hillsides. Many years ago, some had predicted that trout fishing would be a thing of the past in the driftless due to the degradation streams experienced. HI is no small part is responsible for much of the fishing we have today. Much of the habitat work was moved streams along a little faster meaning that cold water extends downstream farther.

I've not fished MN but in WI, it's not my experience that the streams with improvements are more mucky (generally, the opposite as many projects increase current velocity). Personally, I like the challenge of wood and brush...especially if it keeps others off "my" streams Razz

I fish a ton of both improved and unimproved reaches and will say that day to day variability is much greater than any differences in how the reaches fish than anything else. At least that's been my experience - some days, the fish are willing, others you really need to work for them. Both can be a lot of fun.

William Schlafer  
#6 Posted : Monday, July 15, 2019 10:24:15 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,511
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 188 times
Was thanked: 198 time(s) in 152 post(s)
Most of the thinking on habitat improvement projects has evolved in the last decade or so.

Many of the bigger projects in the southern DA lately have involved armoring streambanks and sculpting banks to lessen the effects of soil erosion and flood damage. By default, this provides for better Trout habitat and improved public fishing opportunities. Some streams that were straightened for drainage purposes years ago have been "re-meandered" to improve water quality, help lower water temps and improve habitat for Trout, turtles and other wild life. Some lunker structure installations are still done, but nothing like they were in the past.

Up north there's been an effort to replace harmful road culverts that prevent or restrict Trout migration and spawning.

Bear Creek is a small stream that runs along the edge of Sauk and Richland counties in SW Wisconsin. I grew up just a few miles from there. When I was a child (and Mastodons still roamed the earth) Bear Creek was not a Trout stream by any means. There was lots of erosion and farm manure runoff, high collapsing banks and very low water quality. But, it did have a number of cold water springs feeding it and a small tributary known to hold Brook Trout.

Foresight by several land owners and a massive effort by Aldo Leopold Trout Unlimited have turned what once was a toilet for cows, into a destination Trout stream with one of the longest stretches of improved water in the state. And miles of stream bank easements were obtained opening it up to fishing for the public. I went to high school with members of the Fargen family and I take great pleasure going back there to fish for Trout.

UserPostedImage

A large number of lunker structures were installed along this stretch - I even volunteered to help build some of them. But in this case they're were needed to give the Trout population a place to grown and thrive. I've walked the entire stretch several times and it's difficult to see exactly where those lunkers were installed. The water quality is vastly improved and it's expected that as Trout reproduction increases, it will be elevated to Class I water.


-Bill

Edited by user Monday, July 15, 2019 10:32:55 PM(UTC)  | Reason: added link

“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
MN Driftless  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, July 16, 2019 10:57:36 AM(UTC)
MN Driftless
Rank: Midge

Joined: 5/15/2016(UTC)
Posts: 43
Man
United States
Location: The Driftless

Thanks: 1 times
Was thanked: 4 time(s) in 3 post(s)
https://midwestoutdoors....rout-stream-restoration/

There is a major battle going on in southeast Mn with the DNR and Trout Unlimited being called out for selling out to Rosgen/woody debris. The use of LSOHC funding for these failed projects is also an issue. In an essence, it's wasted taxpayer dollars. TU in Minnesota is not a part of solution to stream improvement; unfortunately, they are at the mercy of the DNR, who issues all of the permitting to do projects. And our DNR is all about wood infused projects versus rock.

The use of rock, cribs, lunkers, and skyhooks is a very effective means of trout stream habitat restoration. I'd rather fish along some boards than a muddy pit with a bunch of sticks poking out.
NBrevitz  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, July 16, 2019 4:07:52 PM(UTC)
NBrevitz
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 3/16/2013(UTC)
Posts: 1,536
Man
Location: Lake Elmo, Mn

Thanks: 57 times
Was thanked: 71 time(s) in 58 post(s)
Originally Posted by: MN Driftless Go to Quoted Post
https://midwestoutdoors.com/fishing/driftless-trout-stream-restoration/

There is a major battle going on in southeast Mn with the DNR and Trout Unlimited being called out for selling out to Rosgen/woody debris. The use of LSOHC funding for these failed projects is also an issue. In an essence, it's wasted taxpayer dollars. TU in Minnesota is not a part of solution to stream improvement; unfortunately, they are at the mercy of the DNR, who issues all of the permitting to do projects. And our DNR is all about wood infused projects versus rock.

The use of rock, cribs, lunkers, and skyhooks is a very effective means of trout stream habitat restoration. I'd rather fish along some boards than a muddy pit with a bunch of sticks poking out.


Can you dive deeper into the Rosgen/woody debris?
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
s.t.fanatic  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, July 16, 2019 4:34:39 PM(UTC)
s.t.fanatic
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 3/24/2010(UTC)
Posts: 726
Location: Altura

Thanks: 50 times
Was thanked: 16 time(s) in 16 post(s)
Originally Posted by: NBrevitz Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: MN Driftless Go to Quoted Post
https://midwestoutdoors.com/fishing/driftless-trout-stream-restoration/

There is a major battle going on in southeast Mn with the DNR and Trout Unlimited being called out for selling out to Rosgen/woody debris. The use of LSOHC funding for these failed projects is also an issue. In an essence, it's wasted taxpayer dollars. TU in Minnesota is not a part of solution to stream improvement; unfortunately, they are at the mercy of the DNR, who issues all of the permitting to do projects. And our DNR is all about wood infused projects versus rock.

The use of rock, cribs, lunkers, and skyhooks is a very effective means of trout stream habitat restoration. I'd rather fish along some boards than a muddy pit with a bunch of sticks poking out.


Can you dive deeper into the Rosgen/woody debris?


basically it is what you mentioned liking.


In most cases it causes way more erosion than it prevents or captures. most of it ends up washing down stream in high water taking landowner fences with it and causing even more erosion down stream when it piles up on a bend.
AKinMN  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, July 16, 2019 5:22:59 PM(UTC)
AKinMN
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 12/17/2014(UTC)
Posts: 225
Location: MPLS by way of AK

Was thanked: 8 time(s) in 7 post(s)
Originally Posted by: NBrevitz Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: MN Driftless Go to Quoted Post
https://midwestoutdoors.com/fishing/driftless-trout-stream-restoration/

There is a major battle going on in southeast Mn with the DNR and Trout Unlimited being called out for selling out to Rosgen/woody debris. The use of LSOHC funding for these failed projects is also an issue. In an essence, it's wasted taxpayer dollars. TU in Minnesota is not a part of solution to stream improvement; unfortunately, they are at the mercy of the DNR, who issues all of the permitting to do projects. And our DNR is all about wood infused projects versus rock.

The use of rock, cribs, lunkers, and skyhooks is a very effective means of trout stream habitat restoration. I'd rather fish along some boards than a muddy pit with a bunch of sticks poking out.


Can you dive deeper into the Rosgen/woody debris?


Take a look at what happened to the Rosgen/woody debris project on Rush Creek this spring. It's covered/documented here quite well

http://www.mntroutforums...topic.php?f=6&t=1995

Users browsing this topic
4 Pages123>»
Forum Jump  
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Powered by YAF.NET | YAF.NET © 2003-2019, Yet Another Forum.NET
This page was generated in 0.392 seconds.