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Trout habitat restoration on Fish Creek in Northern Wisconsin
Midwest Region, January 29, 2020
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The North Fish Creek partners group at the conclusion of the project.
The North Fish Creek partners group at the conclusion of the project. - Photo Credit: Photo by Ted Koehler/USFWS.
The North Fish Creek stream bank and bluff stabilization project completed.
The North Fish Creek stream bank and bluff stabilization project completed. - Photo Credit: Photo by Ted Koehler/USFWS.
A look at the North Fish Creek stream bank and bluff stabilization before work.
A look at the North Fish Creek stream bank and bluff stabilization before work. - Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Northland College

Northern Wisconsin’s Chequamegon Bay area is one of the most ecologically significant regions throughout the Lake Superior basin and its tributaries are home to self-sustaining populations of native brook trout. Despite this, the ongoing health and integrity of the Bay and its watershed is currently threatened by a wide range of historic stressors and emerging issues. To combat the issue of excess sedimentation a working partnership consisting of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Bayfield County, Northland College and a private landowner,and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Ashland Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office applied funding provided through the Service’s Coastal Program and restored a portion of Fish Creek for the benefit of brook trout and other fish and wildlife. The project restored and stabilized a failing bank along Fish Creek by implementing in-stream bluff stabilization using bio-engineering with large wood and mechanized stabilization of the bluff face which in the future should allow the bluff to migrate to the appropriate angle of repose while keeping sediment to a minimum. Trees were also planted to stabilize the soil of the eroding bank.

 

According to multiple studies carried out from 1976 to the present, excess sedimentation is the largest non-point pollution concern affecting the health of Lake Superior’s Chequamegon Bay area watersheds. The excess sedimentation increases harbor maintenance and drinking water treatment costs for communities such as the city of Ashland. It also reduces recreational fishing, swimming, and boating opportunities in the bay and negatively impacts fish habitat within tributaries and the bay. The work performed through this project will benefit northern Wisconsin’s brook trout, Chequamegon Bay and surrounding local communities.


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