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LSOHC Dec 10th Meeting Video - Stream Restoration

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:13 pm
by brntrout
LSOHC Dec 10th 2019 Meeting Video - Stream Habitat Restoration

Interesting, and educational perhaps "for some" about stream habitat techniques used on Waterloo Creek and a few smaller tribs to Waterloo Creek in NE Iowa. The presentation is made by Mike Osterholm showing the stream habitat work he completed on his property he calls Prairie Song Farm. Most of his presentation provides valid points on stream habitat restoration but not all of his statements are necessarily correct. This is a long video but worth viewing if you're interested in stream habitat restoration.

ADDED: A few points that are not quite correct or not mentioned.

1. 15 inches of rain made his reach of Waterloo Creek deeper not his method of stream work.

2. The rock weir Mike installed that washed away was not built using the right size rock (way to small) or was it installed properly.

3. The rock rip rap he installed then removed was also not the right size rock( again way to small) and NOT installed properly

4. Mike's comments about certain structures ( lunkers- skyhooks - wood )not worth installing is only true if installed improperly using ineffective materials or installed in the wrong locations.

5. Planting prairie grass can work but its only likely to work if its done on privately owned stream reaches that the landowner is willing to maintain on a periodic schedule.

6. Mike did use rock on outside bends in the right locations. Most of the rock does look to be smaller than it should be for max long term durability IMO, but we will see?

7. There is no mention of the continuous maintenance work that has taken place on his project over the years. Not too mention, he was always changing or redoing parts of his project almost on an annual bases. That means his project is only as old as the last time he worked on it.

Everything else Mike brought up is true

The video segment on stream habitat begins approx at 1 hour 8 mins.


https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hjvid/91/892483

Re: LSOHC Dec 10th Meeting Video - Stream Restoration

Posted: Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:30 pm
by S.T.Fanatic
Thanks Tom, I enjoyed the video!!!

He has echoed in his video what I have said many times on here. A redneck on a bulldozer could do a much better job at restoring a creek if you get the engineering out of the way. I give this man a great amount of credit for doing all of this out of his own pocket and "listening" to what nature told him would work.

Do less miles annually and conduct better projects!!! It will also cost much less in the long and short term. That is only a bad thing if you follow the paper trail.

Re: LSOHC Dec 10th Meeting Video - Stream Restoration

Posted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:17 am
by brntrout
S.T.Fanatic wrote:
Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:30 pm
Thanks Tom, I enjoyed the video!!!

He has echoed in his video what I have said many times on here. A redneck on a bulldozer could do a much better job at restoring a creek if you get the engineering out of the way. I give this man a great amount of credit for doing all of this out of his own pocket and "listening" to what nature told him would work.

Do less miles annually and conduct better projects!!! It will also cost much less in the long and short term. That is only a bad thing if you follow the paper trail.
I'm not so sure a redneck in a bulldozer could do better work, but it probably wouldn't be worse either compared to the way most LSOHC funded projects have been designed and built over the last 7 or 8 years.

Having said that, i feel MNTU/LSOHC projects are starting to get back on track as far as design and added in-stream habitat features compared to past projects that IMO were flat out awful projects and a total waste of taxpayers money. Don't get me wrong they still have long ways to go before they can called superior trout habitat projects, but at least they are starting to go in the right direction finally!

Mike, is also correct saying most engineers have no clue how to properly design viable "trout habitat" projects. In fact following their project designs along with their insistence on using Rosgen's stream restoration criteria is a guarantee for failure in any high gradient area with man made altered landscape features that drastically change stream flows. The cost of following the DNR/Eco Services mandated engineering criteria to receive the necessary permits to do these types of projects is a waste of 1/3 of the funding received from LSOHC. These unnecessary engineering requirements add NOTHING to make projects better or viable in the slightest degree!

If doing less stream miles means completing superior projects compared to doing many miles of poor quality work, than less mileage is the way to go for sure! WHY, try to do more work if it ends up being of poor quality because short cuts were taken to get more miles completed? There is the old saying "quality pays for itself" and that is especially true when trying to do superior long lasting trout habitat work!

Re: LSOHC Dec 10th Meeting Video - Stream Restoration

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:54 am
by S.T.Fanatic
Where are we at as far as restoration practices go on the streams that were approved for restoration in the past and haven't been completed yet? I suppose a bunch of money was spent on designing projects that will have to be redesigned now for updated/new restoration techniques?

Re: LSOHC Dec 10th Meeting Video - Stream Restoration

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:27 am
by brntrout
S.T.Fanatic wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:54 am
Where are we at as far as restoration practices go on the streams that were approved for restoration in the past and haven't been completed yet? I suppose a bunch of money was spent on designing projects that will have to be redesigned now for updated/new restoration techniques?
The last MNTU LSOHC funded project I walked was the 2019 Trout Run project completed in late summer. The project location is a quarter mile downstream of the first bridge crossing Trout Run south of Troy. The DNR's stream monitoring station is just upstream of the bridge.

On that project the original design plan was changed. The redesigned improvements included rocking banks to stabilize them to prevent bank erosion, eliminating the use erosion control blanket which usually washes out after the first minor flood, and increasing the amount of overhead cover structure. IMO the redesigned project plan is a definite upgrade from the original project design plan. However, more pool depth and overhead cover structure needs to be included in future redesign plans. I would say the redesigned Trout Run Project is at least an acceptable use of LSOHC funding which on other MNTU projects in the past that can not be said!

I found out most of the MNTU projects that were not finished last year are now being redesigned by Dave Vetrano. I believe Dave is getting paid through TUDARE for doing the redesign work. Dave, is one of the better nationally known trout habitat restoration experts who once -worked as a fisheries biologist for the Wisconsin DNR. Dave, has since retired and is now doing work with TUDARE. ( TU Driftless Area Restoration Effort)

Other news I've heard, there is a possibility "someone qualified" will be hired ( probably hired through TUDARE) to take care of reviewing all proposed trout habitat design plans submitted to MNTU that might receive LSOHC funding. If the right person is hired this will insure viable trout habitat project designs are used that provide real improvements in trout habitat, but are also designed to be long lasting projects as well. IMO, there are only a few individuals that have the necessary proven experience to be hired for that position. Dave Vetrano is one, and the others are either retired or still working for other state DNR's. Keep in mind, this is just rumors at this time, but I hope its true. At present, there is nobody in charge of reviewing MNTU's trout habitat project design proposals that has a clue whether there good or bad project designs. Unfortunately, LSOHC does not have the knowledge to review MNTU proposed projects either.

The last paragraph pretty much sums up why we've been having problems with our LSOH funding being wasted on poorly designed trout habitat projects. In essence funding was being approved for poorly designed projects by people without the knowledge to know the difference between a good project design or a bad project design.

Most everyone I know agrees, all trout projects utilizing LSOH funding need to be evaluated to insure our money is being spent wisely. This brings me to my point. Most of these poorly designed MNTU projects (there's been a lot) "should have been evaluated at the proposed project design level" and found to be either a viable plan or one that isn't. After that review/evaluation process, proposed project designs should be either rejected or approved for LSOH funding. Instead what we got based on comments made by less than knowledgeable people ( MNTU/ DNR Eco Service) on the subject of trout habitat restoration is their unqualified opinion that these types of trout habitat project designs ( Rosgen's Woody Debris) are proven and are the best thing since sliced bread, when fact the opposite was true! So what happened, is LSOHC took their word for it and approved funding, not knowing the same people did not know what they were talking about!

Lets hope someone is hired that is QUALIFIED to review/evaluate all the proposed trout habitat design plans that MNTU receives in the future that may potentially get LSOH funding. Otherwise, its back to square one, with more crappy projects and wasted LSOH funding