Rush Creek, MN

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High Stick
Posts: 168
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:19 am
Location: Driftless and The West

Rush Creek, MN

Post by High Stick »

I realize I am digging up some dead and buried news regarding the Rush Creek projects(s); however, I spent some time Saturday morning walking last years failed/redone project, as well as the project completed near Ahrensfeld Creek.

All I can say is what a waste of time and money. It's a shame that the MNDNR and MNTU are now experts at flood control projects than actual decent habitat improvement projects. What happened to those groups? Did they forget what good HI is and what it looks like? I'd like to know how much time and money was put into those areas, and in the end, what benefit did it have on the fishery?

When an angler walks several hundred yards between plunges, riffles, holding water, and the stream is a vanilla, cookie cutter all one width design, I'd call that a flood control project and not actual stream work. That's probably the last time I waste my time on that very expensive and disappointing piece of water.

S.T.Fanatic
Posts: 1131
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:42 pm

Re: Rush Creek, MN

Post by S.T.Fanatic »

I don't mind the lack of plunges or artificial riffle sections. Heck I actually prefer the "slack water" with that said, all of that lower end that has been recently redone was better before they laid a hand on it. I havent fished the Arensfeld section for about 2 years. I can see that producing some big trout if one was to go in there during the week and after dark. Other than that, If one wants to just go out and catch a fair amount of fish, the habitat isn't there to support it.

I have put up triple digit numbers on "degraded" systems that had by far better habitat and many time more fish than the "improved" section of Rush you are referring to. It's just sad.
“What more delightful avocation than to take a piece of land and by cautious experimentation to prove how it works. What more substantial service to conservation than to practice it on one's own land?” Aldo Leopold

brntrout
Posts: 3159
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:26 am

Re: Rush Creek, MN

Post by brntrout »

High Stick,

A number of friends of mine recently fished the same exact project areas on Rush Creek and all thought the same thing.

Every experienced trout angler I know who has fished any of the recent MNTU/DNR stream projects all say their projects have not improved the trout habitat in a meaningful way, or they actually made the habitat worse and their projects all looks like flood control work!

Yet, anglers refuse to rock the boat and bitterly complain about these bad projects and their money being wasted? If anglers had purchased any other product and they found they were being sold a bill of goods that preformed that badly they would be yelling bloody murder for their money back or threatening to sue the company for making fraudulent claims!

Of course, DNR Eco Services, Fisheries and MNTU claim there restoring natural stream function and their style of work is more natural appearing. I say there is no such thing as natural functioning watersheds, Eco systems or streams and all stream work is creating artificial stream function conditions. IMO, their projects look like meandering ditches with the same exact channel dimension, which are very sterile appearing mainly because there is no diversity of (trout) habitat structure in their project designs. 1. Has anyone ever seen untouched streams or rivers that have the same exact channel dimension throughout their entire length? 2. How about hundreds of root wads lined up along outside bends with the roots hanging out in the middle of the stream and all the tree trunks buried in the banks? 3. How about stream velocities all being about the same, does that occur in nature?

The answer to all three questions, none of those things occur in nature! However, it does occur in projects specifically designed to deal flood conditions. Does that sound familiar?

High Stick
Posts: 168
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:19 am
Location: Driftless and The West

Re: Rush Creek, MN

Post by High Stick »

I'm serious about the dollar amount question. There are two projects, but the work was done three times. Once on Ahrensfeld area and the two times below that (one original and one that was "repaired" in the spring of 2019). The dollar amount has to be significant. I even went the the MNTU page and dug around. No dollar figures are posted there.

Wonder why?

brntrout
Posts: 3159
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:26 am

Re: Rush Creek, MN

Post by brntrout »

High Stick wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:28 am
I'm serious about the dollar amount question. There are two projects, but the work was done three times. Once on Ahrensfeld area and the two times below that (one original and one that was "repaired" in the spring of 2019). The dollar amount has to be significant. I even went the the MNTU page and dug around. No dollar figures are posted there.

Wonder why?
The bad news is most of MNTU Rosgen's woody debris type projects have been repaired at least once and some 2 or 3 times like on Cold Spring Brook. I would think LSOHC would have the dollar amounts spent on each project but I doubt they will provide that Information. :(

Its also likely the repair costs have been hidden in some way on purpose to make it hard for the public to figure out how many times individual projects have been repaired and how much extra funding was spent to fix them. :o

I WONDER WHY, IS RIGHT?


Good luck in trying to get project expenditure Information!!!

S.T.Fanatic
Posts: 1131
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:42 pm

Re: Rush Creek, MN

Post by S.T.Fanatic »

I live less than five min. from the S. Branch WW. I dont fish the section that they are working on all that often because of all the pressure it gets. I will however be PISSED if it ends up being just like the Rush creek project. I think I already know how that is going to work out for me.
“What more delightful avocation than to take a piece of land and by cautious experimentation to prove how it works. What more substantial service to conservation than to practice it on one's own land?” Aldo Leopold

brntrout
Posts: 3159
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:26 am

Re: Rush Creek, MN

Post by brntrout »

S.T.Fanatic wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 1:55 pm
I live less than five min. from the S. Branch WW. I dont fish the section that they are working on all that often because of all the pressure it gets. I will however be PISSED if it ends up being just like the Rush creek project. I think I already know how that is going to work out for me.
Then be prepared to be mad!

I've been told they plan to do the project in stages to see how it holds up. If they had a clue what they were doing that would not be necessary.

It amazes me the same company who has been messing up most of the MNTU''s projects for ten years has failed to learn almost nothing. You would think by trial and error alone after ten years they should have figured out how to correct their mistakes, but the only thing they've learn so far is erosion control blanket is a bad idea because it always washes away after each flood. Even DNR Lanesboro Fisheries figured out erosion control blanket was a bad idea after just one season using it! We figured this out after doing two small projects in the same year and said enough is enough and started using hyro-mulch instead which is far cheaper and is easily repaired if necessary at a much lower cost.

They also "just now" (late 2019) started using the proper volume of rock. but unfortunately they are trying to use rock that is the wrong size.( way to small) That means their projects will last longer ( more than one year) but they will probably start having bank erosion problems after 2 or 3 years if it keeps flooding like it has been. The proper size rock that holds up well on SE MN streams had been well established more than 30 years ago. The proper size rock is 70% 24" to 36+ inches and 30% smaller rock to help fill any voids in the rip rap.

Think about this, every change they are now making to correct their project mistakes is NOT BY USING NEW TECHNIQUES, but by using the old established way of doing trout habitat work and they still haven't got it totally figured out yet, WHY? :lol:
Last edited by brntrout on Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

High Stick
Posts: 168
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:19 am
Location: Driftless and The West

Re: Rush Creek, MN

Post by High Stick »

Speaking of erosion blankets, I found one on Rush Saturday, partially in the water and partially on the bank. Didn't seem to do much good when it was submerged in the creek :).

S.T.Fanatic
Posts: 1131
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:42 pm

Re: Rush Creek, MN

Post by S.T.Fanatic »

Why not use the straw type of blankets? Also, do you know the seed mix that is being used?
“What more delightful avocation than to take a piece of land and by cautious experimentation to prove how it works. What more substantial service to conservation than to practice it on one's own land?” Aldo Leopold

brntrout
Posts: 3159
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:26 am

Re: Rush Creek, MN

Post by brntrout »

S.T.Fanatic wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:20 am
Why not use the straw type of blankets? Also, do you know the seed mix that is being used?
Any type of erosion control blanket cost more than using hydro-mulch and flooding will roll it up just like any other kind of blanket. Using hydro-mulch is by far less costly to use, especially if there is minor flood damage to repair.

The type of seed used is not the problem. The problem lies with stream levels and our water tables being the highest they've been in our time, along with stream banks being saturated further up the bank slope. Under present conditions if the proper size rock is not used, or no rock used, the banks become even more saturated under flood conditions. Once that happens bank soils liquefy and bank erosion occurs even with well established seeding in place. It should be mentioned that stream banks that are slopped during project work have loose soil compaction conditions which are not as compacted as soils in non slopped areas. That makes it even more likely for bank erosion problems to occur even under moderate flood conditions.

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