Group apathy

General trout, fishing, conservation, or anything outdoors related discussion. Trip reports and stream conditions welcome, but please do not name streams.
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Wendy Berrell
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Re: Group apathy

Post by Wendy Berrell »

Look to the trout stream tribs between Lake City and Red Wing for a good example of how upland and in-stream projects can work together. We gave Goodhue/Wabasha SWCDs money to pull together the GIS work to help map and prioritize where upland BMP (essentially ponds for the most part) are needed. The resulting map is straight-forward and highly useful. See pages 32 and 37 of this document: https://www.pca.state.mn.us/sites/defau ... w9-15n.pdf

The basic approach (crafted by the SWCDs) is to NOT do stream channel/habitat work until the upland is sufficiently treated. They did a stream project in Bullard Creek because nearly all of the upland is treated. That stream also shows good IBIs.

Couple points: (1) this is how the LSOHC and the Clean Water money (both from the amendment pot) could work together, and (2) I would offer this as an example of how watershed work does in fact get done, despite a lot of groaning out there that "nothing ever happens" etc. etc. Goodhue and Wabasha have used that document noted above to leverage approx half a million dollars to install BMPs that will reduce sediment and phosphorus loads to trout streams (and beyond) and reduce peak flows. We have people doing good work beyond these watersheds too; it's just a long-term slog and it doesn't package up as neatly as showing someone how the fish count used to be 800 and now it's 2000.


https://www.goodhueswcd.org/mississippi ... ake-pepin-

brntrout
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Post by brntrout »

PERFECT, keep up the good work improving water quality!

Edit: IBI scores have also improved when "trout habitat" is done properly. Dr Neal Mundahl WSU professor has proven that to be a fact based on numerous H.I project studies his students have completed!
Last edited by brntrout on Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

brntrout
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Post by brntrout »

jrs wrote:I think what STF and maybe others are suggesting is that there should be more focus on larger scale watershed issues vs. habitat improvement within the stream corridor.

I don't disagree. However, I think some of the watershed efforts are less obvious. For example, if a farmer builds a retention pond to slow runoff with guidance from the SWCD and the local TU chapter kicks in some funds, does the average fisherman even notice? I know in the past this kind of thing was happening and I would hope that TU is commiting funds to this kind of stuff. I don't believe these kind of projects are eligible for LSOHC funds?

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Actually I think what STF was getting at, ( which he has mentioned many times) is not do any "habitat' restoration at all. What needs to be done is both watershed improvement and trout habitat improvement not one or the other IMO!

Your also probably right the average angler probably never notices any watershed improvements. I see all the bad and good happening in watersheds that i work and fish in, because I'm involved restoring trout habitat. Improving both watershed conditions and better trout habitat gives us the best possible fisheries, doing one or the other is only half as good!

WhiteGlovedHowdy
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Post by WhiteGlovedHowdy »

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think the suggestion is to do one then the other... not "or" the other.

brntrout
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Re:

Post by brntrout »

WhiteGlovedHowdy wrote:Maybe I'm wrong, but I think the suggestion is to do one then the other... not "or" the other.
Based on studies done by professor Dr Neal Mundahl WSU students, doing one first over the other may not make that big a difference based on how IBI scores improve after H.I. work is completed. However, if I had a choice It would be nice to improve watershed conditions first, then do H.I. However, I doubt "meaningful" watershed improvements could be accomplished on most trout stream watersheds in a reasonable time frame!

I think continuing to work on both at the same time is the best option unless you want our trout streams to degrade to the point they can't support trout at all?

harris
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Re: Group apathy

Post by harris »

I brought this up because I think TU is in real danger of becoming nonexistent. Not enough support is being given to it by trout fisherman. It's really sad that such poor interest is shown by them that only 10 to 15 members show up for meetings and there is no practically no interest in becoming memebers of the board, It's come down to they almost have to beg for help. I'm afraid trout fisherman are going to get exactly what they deserve, no input into how our streams are (or are not) protected. It's easy to come up with reasons for not supporting TU. I have not liked a few things they've done over the years, but all in all it's come down to whether or not I support the main objective of TU: to protect cold water resources. Water shed improvements have a much better chance of happening when fought for with a united voice. Right now, TU is the voice for those who love to trout fish.

brntrout
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Post by brntrout »

harris quote: We may have some issues regarding our local TU chapter.

Blackdog quote: I am not entirely pleased with everything TU does.

brntrout quote: when people are satisfied with a product (TU) they continue to buy more, when they are dissatisfied they quit buying the product. (TU) The problem does not lie with the "membership"

highstick quote: Until TU takes a stand against some of the "recent" stream implementations that are being forced on them, which I realize they won't due to MN DNR Ecological Services holding all the cards, then i'm out. The leadership at the state level leaves a great deal to be desired

Having been a TU leader ( HTU President, MNTU State Habitat Chairman, HTU Habitat Chairman, MNTU board of directors, HTU board of directors) for 40 years all being in a leadership role of one kind or another, I would say , based on the quotes above leadership is trying to take membership in a direction they don't want to go. Its really not rocket science, if membership was "happy" the way things are they would show up, if their not happy the're not going to show up! :(

S.T.Fanatic
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Re:

Post by S.T.Fanatic »

WhiteGlovedHowdy wrote:Maybe I'm wrong, but I think the suggestion is to do one then the other... not "or" the other.
Bingo!!

What isn't being considered is If we were able to keep the water in the uplands what would average base flows be. I would assume they would increase because the water would be entering the water table and not just heading to the gulf of mexico dead zone in record time. I would also assume that channel dimensions/design would be different base off of a changed high, low, and average flow due to water retention.

I believe watershed issues to be the lowest hole in the bucket. The NRCS offers grants to landowners to put in ponds and the like. Land owners are still left to foot a decent sized bill. If TU or Legacy funds or whatever you want to call them could pay the remainder or at least chip in I think you would see much more participation and I believe TU should endorse and advertise that practice.

It seems TO ME that many times habitat projects are done just to do them. Again, I realize there are many things at play that go into where and when a habitat project is completed but.....
“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
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Re: Group apathy

Post by brntrout »

S.T.Fanatic wrote:
WhiteGlovedHowdy wrote:Maybe I'm wrong, but I think the suggestion is to do one then the other... not "or" the other.
Bingo!!

What isn't being considered is If we were able to keep the water in the uplands what would average base flows be. I would assume they would increase because the water would be entering the water table and not just heading to the gulf of mexico dead zone in record time. I would also assume that channel dimensions/design would be different base off of a changed high, low, and average flow due to water retention.

I believe watershed issues to be the lowest hole in the bucket. The NRCS offers grants to landowners to put in ponds and the like. Land owners are still left to foot a decent sized bill. If TU or Legacy funds or whatever you want to call them could pay the remainder or at least chip in I think you would see much more participation and I believe TU should endorse and advertise that practice.

It seems TO ME that many times habitat projects are done just to do them. Again, I realize there are many things at play that go into where and when a habitat project is completed but.....
Cam,

Actually, habitat work can not done successfully without understanding what's going on in each individual watershed a project might be done in. Trying to calculate what the specific channel dimension should be, should be based off having a good grasp of the current land use practices and possible changes that might occur that will influence flows during high and low water situations. In our area trying to use some STATIC bank full mark (Rosgen's theory) to decide a specific channel dimension is bogus as "ever changing AG land use practices" dictate what average flows may be like for any given year depending on what land use practices are that year. And of course the land use practices are probably going to change in following years as well. Bottom line, there is a fine line, between having the channel dimension to narrow, or to wide, if the channel dimension is to narrow you're going to have bank wash outs, if its to wide your going to have poor pool depth and excess sediment. In reality its mostly land use practices that dictate how bad it will flood and what channel dimension a specific project should be designed to have! It may seem improbable but projects have to be designed to function under low and high flows.

I agree, improving watershed conditions would be a major plus. However, that is not going to change degraded habitat back to good trout habitat. To do that would mostly likely require a major reduction in AG acreage, i'm guessing up to 25%. In particular it would be necessary for that to happen along flowing water ways, high gradient ground and non flowing drainage's.

Most streams are chosen for projects based on having poor habitat conditions such as, poor pool depth, excess stream sediment, high eroding stream banks and low trout abundance, which is caused by the conditions mentioned. To my knowledge just about all the stream projects chosen are on the DNR Fisheries list of streams they feel are degraded and feel could use some habitat work.

harris
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Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:44 pm

Re: Group apathy

Post by harris »

Well, you can't please everybody all the time so why even try. One question though. Without TU would any Legacy money be spent on trout streams?

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