Brushing Streams to Improve Access

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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brntrout
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Brushing Streams to Improve Access

Post by brntrout »

It sounds like TU may start doing more stream brushing to improve angling access. I was wondering what people felt about that possibility? I'm not sure if brushing means just cutting over abundant small trees or cutting small trees and tall noxious weeds?

I do know most anglers favor better access and the ability to cast and walk along stream banks without having to deal with brush and tall weeds.

What do you guys think?

jay92
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Re: Brushing Streams to Improve Access

Post by jay92 »

Don't think much of this. Not sure where they are talking about, but it sounds like manicuring. I will admit that I get frustrated by the head high growth in summer, but I think dealing with it is part of the game. I worry about unintended consequences, such as erosion, if stream side vegetation is removed.

S.T.Fanatic
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Re: Brushing Streams to Improve Access

Post by S.T.Fanatic »

I don't care for it either and know others that think the same.
“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: Brushing Streams to Improve Access

Post by brntrout »

jay92 wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:28 pm
I worry about unintended consequences, such as erosion, if stream side vegetation is removed.
Actually its likely erosion problems would be lessened by cutting small trees ( box elders) and tall noxious weeds. Mowing/brushing promotes establishment of grasses which have better root systems than shallow rooted box elder trees that shade out grasses. And noxious weeds are usually invasive's anyway that reduce grasses as well.

I'm also assuming brushing/mowing would not be done often maybe once every few years or more, likely. I think the main idea is to try to keep box elders and noxious weeds under control. However , if this type of work is done it would provide better angling access.

Remember tree lined stream banks are not what we once had either!

I would think doing stream bank maintenance every so often would also help spread out angling pressure some!

I have zero stake in this, I was just wondering what anglers thought?

brntrout
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Re: Brushing Streams to Improve Access

Post by brntrout »

I forgot too mention, "many" of the streams that are over grown now, that might be considered for mowing were once pastured. The point is, most streams haven't been in their natural state for over 150 years and even then they had few trees along their banks. Just something to think about!

High Stick
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Re: Brushing Streams to Improve Access

Post by High Stick »

I can name a few places that could use a brushing. The undergrowth and jungle conditions that deter others are not a deal breaker for me personally. The noxious weeds part, I'm in favor of. If it means that anglers have wide open access for a while (like a few summers ago when they thinned out Bide-A-Wee), then so be it. It doesn't bother me one way or another.

brntrout
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Re: Brushing Streams to Improve Access

Post by brntrout »

High Stick wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:52 am
I can name a few places that could use a brushing. The undergrowth and jungle conditions that deter others are not a deal breaker for me personally. The noxious weeds part, I'm in favor of. If it means that anglers have wide open access for a while (like a few summers ago when they thinned out Bide-A-Wee), then so be it. It doesn't bother me one way or another.
I should have done a better job explaining this in the first place.

What their trying to do is get rid of excess smaller box elder trees/buckthorn trees and knock down tall noxious weeds.

What they're not going to do is mow stream reaches to look like someone's front yard.

I'm not sure they would even open up the undergrowth as much as the Trout Run brushing project you mentioned, or the brushing work MN DNR did on Gribben Creek about 5 years ago. Their simply trying to make it so anglers can walk along the stream banks to fish without having to wade up and down the entire stream reach just to fish there. I would assume this kind of work would only happen about once every 2 to 5 years. It would be less than that if they killed the trees with tree poison but I don't think they plan on doing that, but I could be wrong!

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Randy
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Re: Brushing Streams to Improve Access

Post by Randy »

If it means getting rid of (trying to, anyway, we're well past the tipping point on it) buckthorn, I'm 100% for it. I liked what the Conservation Corps did with the DNR on some of our streams like you mentioned, Tom.

brntrout
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Re: Brushing Streams to Improve Access

Post by brntrout »

Randy wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:11 pm
If it means getting rid of (trying to, anyway, we're well past the tipping point on it) buckthorn, I'm 100% for it. I liked what the Conservation Corps did with the DNR on some of our streams like you mentioned, Tom.
I forgot the Conservation Corp did some of those projects in the past.

Future brushing projects are being lined by the Win-cres TU Chapter. The Win cres TU guys recently bought large brush mower that attaches to the front end of a Skid Steer. The problem is they don't own a Skid Steer so they will have to use someone else's or rent one to get the work done. BTW Win Cres has brushed a few smaller streams in the past but i don't think their old mower was up to the task of getting rid of thousands of small box elders and buckthorn trees. I bring this up because Win Cres TU is leading the charge on this effort!

brntrout
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Re: Brushing Streams to Improve Access

Post by brntrout »

From Win-Cres TU.

We have been mowing for the last three years on Diamond Creek, areas of Rush Creek, Garvin Brook & Hemingway Creek, thought about SFRR above “million dollar bridge”, but with high water all summer, didn’t get to it. Mike J. has kind of been running the show. Usually takes a crew of at least 3-4, depending on whether there might be some chain saw work and how difficult the stream crossings are. Our brusher is only good for heavy weeds and small saplings and a double swath is about 4-5 ft. Our goal is to give people easier access in & out of an area, doesn’t necessarily go right along the stream edge. It’s not really an “old guy” job. If I understand, the new DNR m/c is mechanized & could actually clear the stream bank of fairly heavy stuff and improve fishing access. Tom, there are many areas such as your suggested ones that could be helped, have to see how it goes.


This is very impressive for a bunch of old guys who are mostly over 70 and Jim C is in his 80's. They tried to get younger guys to be involved on projects in the past but they are all busy fishing ( mostly excuses) to help out!

Its nice to see at least one MN TU chapter do something meaningful for anglers and the resource. BTW, probably about half of all bank hide structures (hundreds) installed in SE streams were probably built by Win-Cres TU. At present they are the "most active hands on TU chapter" in the state, IMO!
Last edited by brntrout on Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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