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Fish Friendly Road Crossing at Troutmere Creek
Midwest Region, September 26, 2011
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The outlet of the Troutmere Creek project prior to restoration.
The outlet of the Troutmere Creek project prior to restoration. - Photo Credit: Ted Koehler, USFWS
Troutmere Creek ARRA project during the construction process.
Troutmere Creek ARRA project during the construction process. - Photo Credit: Ted Koehler, USFWS
Constructing a rock weir on the Toutmere Creek ARRA Fish Passage Project.
Constructing a rock weir on the Toutmere Creek ARRA Fish Passage Project. - Photo Credit: Ted Koehler, USFWS
Troumere Creek ARRA National Fish Passage Program Project completed.
Troumere Creek ARRA National Fish Passage Program Project completed. - Photo Credit: Ted Koehler, USFWS

During the summer of 2011, partners from the Chequamegon Bay area of northern Wisconsin worked to restore fish passage in the Town of Marengo in Ashland. The restored crossing is located on Troutmere Creek at Midway Road. Troutmere Creek is a tributary to the Marengo River, which is part of the Bad River Watershed of Lake Superior. The work from this project was funded through American Reinvestment and Recovery Act Funds allocated through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Fish Passage Program. The work has opened over two miles of stream to fish passage above the former barrier. The Marengo River system is an important watershed for brook trout, with ongoing restoration planning and projects being carried out by many different organizations and agencies to enhance this important fishery. The Marengo and its tributaries are popular and highly utilized by local anglers as well as those that travel from great distances to fish its productive waters.

 

Two rock weir structures were installed below the culvert to raise the water level inside the existing structure in order to facilitate fish passage. Unlike most passage projects that occur in a road right-of-way, this project needed permission form the downstream landowner. The landowner was very supportive and happily gave permission to install the weir structures on his property. Another important part of the Troutmere Creek project includes fish and sediment assessments which will be ongoing over the next few years. Fishery assessments will continue to take place above and below the restored sites to evaluate the initial effectiveness of the restoration as well as long term changes in fish populations within the stream reaches above and below the sites. Sediment monitoring is also taking place to help determine changes in the stream profile and movement of sediment as a result of restoration at these sites.

Many partners were involved in the project and contributed financial support, technical assistance, or access permission. They included the local landowner, Ashland County Land and Water Conservation Department, Bad River Watershed Association, Town of Marengo, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) Ashland Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office. A Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program Habitat Development Agreement was signed with the private landowner to protect the habitat improvements for a period of 10 years.

The Chequamegon Bay and Bad River Watershed community highly support fish and wildlife habitat projects such as this. Groups such as the local chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Bad River Watershed Association regularly assist with habitat and other projects on the Marengo River and in the surrounding area. Without the combined forces of the partners involved, and the exceptional local support for fish and wildlife restoration in the community, projects like the fish friendly modifications to the culvert on Troutmere Creek at Midway Road would be much more difficult. Because of the partners and their hard work, the one-time problem barrier is now a habitat link for brook trout and other important aquatic species.


Contact Info: Ted Koehler, 715-682-6185, ted_koehler@fws.gov
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