How mntu habitat improvement projects are completed

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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WhiteGlovedHowdy
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How mntu habitat improvement projects are completed

Post by WhiteGlovedHowdy »

Anyone read this In MNTU magazine? I learned a couple things I never knew. Your thoughts? ( I'm aware many of you just rifle through the publication for the selected poem, brew a cup of tea, and read it over and over cuddled up on the couch) But sometimes the articles are also good to read. Stay woke.

S.T.Fanatic
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Re: How mntu habitat improvement projects are completed

Post by S.T.Fanatic »

How many of those projects actually increased the number of trout? Large and small. How many of them actually created trout habitat?
“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: How mntu habitat improvement projects are completed

Post by brntrout »

The article WGH is talking about is in this newsletter!

http://mntu.org/wp-content/uploads/2019 ... -small.pdf

Unfortunately many of the MNTU projects have little if any decent in-stream habitat elements that are worthwhile.

By in-stream habitat elements I mean creating decent pool depth 3 to 5 feet) and creating additional new pools. The bottom line, adult size trout, anglers like to catch prefer pools with depth and with additional overhead elements in them. This normally requires installation of rock weirs to maintain pool depth and help the creation of NEW pools. Of course, rock weirs have be installed in the proper places with sufficient stream gradient and pools have to be dug below the weirs. Just adding pool depth and additional new pools is great, but usually for best results ( more adult trout of ALL sizes) a diversity of overhead cover types is required. The best way to add overhead cover is to utilize many different types of structures like, large cover rocks, overhead cover structures like skyhooks, lunkers, large log sweepers & roots wads. IMO root wads provide the least amount of linear feet of overhead cover and provide little bang for buck compared to other types of structures.

In addition, rock vanes, rock deflectors and cover rocks of varying sizes should be used to create deeper mid stream thalweg's which increases stream velocity improving habitat conditions for invertebrates and small to mid size trout. Improving thalweg conditions also improves substrate conditions for spawning bugs and fish.

Most of what I mentioned above about Improving trout habitat is rarely seen to any large degree on most MNTU projects !

However, I would say the last MNTU project completed on Hay Creek if a "LOT MORE ROCK" was used to support the habitat structures that were installed it probably would have had only "minor damage" from this springs flood event in instead of being mostly wiped out! In general that specific Hay Creek project IMO had a decent amount of good habitat elements in its design.

In the MNTU newsletter their East indian Creek project is shown in a few pictures. We toured that project with LSOHC back on April 18th. The project now, does not look like it does in newsletter pictures. The project is starting to develop erosion issues on many banks. AGAIN, if more and larger rock was used i doubt there would have been little if any problems from this springs flooding!

Hopefully, MNTU projects will improve after the eye opening tour. For that to happen in SE MN it requires "a lot more rock" be used and plenty of in-stream habitat elements added to the stream design plans?

WE WILL SEE???

brntrout
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Re: How mntu habitat improvement projects are completed

Post by brntrout »

FYI, we walked the repaired MNTU Rush Creek project yesterday. The good news is the vast majority of banks that were rocked this time, which is just about every bank, stayed in place after last weeks minor (4 foot high) high water event.

The bad news is about half of the worthless erosion control blanket rolled up and a lot of the seeding washed away. I'm afraid the erosion control practices on this project are not in compliance with MPCA rules at this point. Two other points. 1. the size of rock used for rip rapping banks was not class 5 rock so its a little on the small size, also it was not packed very tight and in places there is holes in the bank without rock. Usually if rock is not packed tight together eventually you get washed out spots( that means more repairs in the future) in bank areas where rock was not packed tight. 2. I heard the repair job was to include adding trout habitat which was mostly absent in the original project, but after walking the entire reach we really didn't notice much added trout habitat other than a one or two minor log structures.

It appears they will now have to go back for a third time to do even more repair work on Rush Creek

All in all, the Rush creek project is in far better shape after the repairs than pre repairs, and the repair work is far superior to the original project design/work.

Still larger rock needs to be used and packed together tighter,and it should be clear by now erosion control blanket should not be used in the high gradient streams of SE MN as it always washes out after even a minor high water event which we get in this part of the state a MINIMUM of 3 to 6 times every summer

In short, the project is way better than original work, but i wouldn't call it a great trout habitat project by any stretch.

brntrout
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Re: How mntu habitat improvement projects are completed

Post by brntrout »

If I was to grade the Rush Creek project, with A being excellent work , B being good work, C being fair work, D being poor work and F being dreadful work.

i would rate the "new"repaired bank work on Rush Creek a solid C. The in-stream habitat work would be a D- not much if any real trout habitat in this project. IMO "after the repairs" that puts this project on the barely acceptable list at best!

AND that's after they go back and fix the recent high water event problems for the third time.

I sure hope they are intelligent enough NOT to put erosion control blanket back on the banks for the third time as its a 50 - 50 bet they will be back to fix the banks a fourth time if they do. IMO using erosion control blanket is a major waste of money and time! That statement comes after having personal experience trying to use the junk ourselves. The difference is we realized a long time ago it was a waste of time and money to use the junk, unlike others who continue to use it and have failure after failure! :(

High Stick
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Re: How mntu habitat improvement projects are completed

Post by High Stick »


brntrout
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Re: How mntu habitat improvement projects are completed

Post by brntrout »

The banks on Rush Creek will hold up "a lot better" now that rock is used to stabilize them, instead soil wrapped in erosion control blanket. However, since the rock was not packed tight and the rock was on the small size there will be minor maintenance problems in the future. Even if the banks hold up better because of using rock that still does nothing to improve trout habitat which IMO is still very "LIMITED"! Like I said before, the project is a lot better than the original designed one, but as a TROUT HABITAT PROJECT its a long ways off from being a decent project!

Nice propaganda write up in the PB, unfortunately its not quite the real truth.

ADDED: Example, John Lewczewski quote: "He said the creek should be ready to withstand a gully-washing storm onslaught because of the restoration efforts that happened last year." The truth is the complete opposite of that statement that is why all the banks were just now rip rapped with rock. In reality what happen last year is why the project almost totally washed away!

The important thing is at least MNTU is trying to go in the right direction, I think, by using rock which has been proven to work stabilizing stream banks for MANY decades.

WE WILL SEE???
Last edited by brntrout on Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

brntrout
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Re: How mntu habitat improvement projects are completed

Post by brntrout »

This article had to have been wrote about two weeks ago. Whats ironic is the cover photo for the article is of erosion control blanket being installed which as of July 3rd is half way washed out. Its interesting they published the article without knowing the project had more high water damage and the article information was not even up to date for more than two weeks before more problems arose again?

brntrout
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Re: How mntu habitat improvement projects are completed

Post by brntrout »

brntrout wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:44 am
This article had to have been wrote about two weeks ago. Whats ironic is the cover photo for the article is of erosion control blanket being installed which as of July 3rd is half way washed out. Its interesting they published the article without knowing the project had more high water damage and the article information was not even up to date for more than two weeks before more problems arose again?
I got a call from someone the other day who was not happy I said half the erosion control blanket was washed out. Since i did not formally measure the exact footage I will just say IMO a significant proportion of it was not intact! Just to be fair any time one gets high water there are going to be problems on ANY of these new projects NO MATTER WHO DOES THEM! At the same time why would they continue to install expensive erosion control blanket when the probability of more high water problems exist? Its a lot cheaper to regrade the affected bank areas, re-seed, drag and spray hydro mulch than trying use "more" erosion control blanket that might get wash out or rolled up again, especially this year! Overall, IMO erosion control blanket is way too expensive and is especially prone to failure from NORMAL high water events we get in SE MN on a regular bases.

What i'm saying, is yes, we still need to fix the erosion control problems from high water events, but lets not over spend to do those repairs.

Just for the record most of these problems are NOT caused by the heavy equipment contractors who do all the installation work, but by the companies who designs these types projects. VERY IMPORTANT, the many project failures we are seeing and have toured are caused by "flawed project designs "and have nothing to do with the heavy equipment contractors at all"!

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