Trimbelle River project is complete

Body: 

The Kiap-TU-Wish Chapter of Trout Unlimited is delighted to announce the completion of a conservation project on the Trimbelle River west of Ellsworth. This project is another example of the vision of Kiap-TU- Wish in the 21st century: to conserve, protect and restore cold water streams.

The project area is on the Mike and Suzanne Holst property along County Highway O about one mile south of U.S. Highway 10. There is a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources easement on the property and it is open to public fishing.

Dennis Fritz of the Pierce County Conservation Department (now retired) and Mike Holst started planning the project in 2013. Jeff Kitelinger of the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service in Ellsworth and Nate Anderson, DNR Trout Stream Projects Leader, designed the project.

The project included stabilizing the banks and providing in-stream structure for trout on the Trimbelle River and the tributary Spring Creek. Starting during the winter of 2017 Kiap-TU- Wish Chapter volunteers spent 527 hours cutting and burning box elder trees and brush along the river. The DNR purchased rock riprap that was delivered during the winter. Mike Holst donated and hauled in large limestone boulders.

Starting on May 4, the DNR stream crew removed stumps, graded the banks back to a gentle slope and placed rock to stabilize the stream banks and create in-stream trout habitat.

Holst hauled out stumps and excess soil. In-stream habitat features include two plunge pools (one on the Trimbelle River and one on Spring Creek), 12 root wads with logs and large boulders. Kiap-TU- Wish Chapter and Fairmount Minerals volunteers built six wood "lunker" structures that provide overhead shelter for trout. Five lunker structures were installed in the Trimbelle River and one on Spring Creek. Work was completed June 21 with final grading, seeding and mulching, and construction of a small parking area.

On the last work day, Kiap-TU- Wish volunteers seeded grass mix, winter rye and red cover. Fritz donated some native wildflower and grass seed that was planted along Spring Creek. Then, 250 straw bales were used to mulch everything, a record to place in one day.

There was a total of 889 feet of one bank and 345 feet of both banks completed on Trimbelle River and 356 feet of both banks on Spring Creek for a total of 2,291 feet of rip rap and trout habitat.

Randy Arnold, Kiap-TU- Wish Chapter volunteer coordinator, constructed and installed a sign for the project. He also built and set out 16 bluebird boxes along the Trimbelle River.

About $34,147 of stream bank stabilization was funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP). Total cost of the project (not including labor) was $48,268. The project cost funded from the DNR Trout Stamp Program was $14,121.20.

Cost per foot for 2,291 feet of stone rip rap bank protection was $21. The DNR constructed a 2- car parking area and installed a culvert. That work was funded through the DNR Fisheries Lands budget.

Land owners Mike and Sue Holst said that they are pleased with how well the project turned out and are happy to have been a part of it. They extend their thanks to all for their hard work on the project. Kitelinger of the NRCS in Ellsworth said that with completion of the Holst project, there are now about two miles of Trimbelle River downstream of Highway 10, nearly all of which has been restored and that provides excellent opportunity for public fishing.

The Kiap-TU- Wish Chapter of Trout Unlimited was chartered in 1972 and has spent 44 years advocating and working for protection, conservation and enhancement of the cold water fisheries in St. Croix, Pierce, Polk, Pepin and Dunn counties. Trout Unlimited is the nation's oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America's trout and salmon and their watersheds. Follow TU on Facebook, Twitter and visit us at www.tu.org and www.kiaptuwish.org.