Helping the Flute Reed Partnership Restore Minnesota
Lake Superior Tributary Habitat
BY TED KOEHLER, ASHLAND FWCO
Restoring Lake Superior tributary habitat is critical for brook trout and other native fish as well as naturalized fish species important for recreation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) Ashland Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (FWCO) worked with the Flute Reed Partnership and other partners on a riparian restoration and enhancement project in the Flute Reed watershed which is centrally located along Lake Superior’s Minnesota north shore. Funding for the Service’s portion of the project was provided by the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program’s Fish Habitat Restoration funds.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources worked with the partnership to determine where to strategically plant individual species in order to most benefit the river system. They also worked with the volunteers on proper tree planting techniques. The partnership also spent many hours of time contacting watershed landowners in order to educate them on the project and secure access to important restoration locations.
Upon completion of the planning, trees were planted May 25th and 26th, 2013 on eight different private properties in the Flute Reed watershed. Sixteen volunteers from Northern Bedrock Conservation Corps in Duluth helped with planting and reported having a good time working together in the woods while benefitting the areas fish and wildlife. In total 1,500 conifer seedlings were planted and included 1300 white spruce, 100 white pine and 100 white cedar. Many of the white pine and cedar were fenced in order to protect them from deer and the occasional moose.