Buffalo County Stream Projects
History of Habitat Work on Buffalo County Streams
In 2009, the Alma Rod and Gun Club asked NRCS for assistance with habitat work on Trout Creek. With cooperation from a concerned landowner, the completed the project in 2012. The first of many completed projects in Buffalo County. Since that time, the Waumandee Rod and Gun Club, Fountain City Rod and Gun Club, and Arcadia Sportsmans Club have completed projects with 13 landowners on 9 miles of cold water streams. All of these streams are capable of supporting native reproducing brook trout. With easements that were donated by the landowners, more funds were able to be used for habitat work. We were also fortunate to have an attorney that was willing to do the legal work for these easements free of charge.
Sources of funding used on these sites have been:
Starting in 2009, the goal of the project of agencies, clubs and organizations were to have this work completed at no cost to the landowner. To date, with cooperation from all partners, this has been accomplished.
Sources of funding used on these sites have been: USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, WDNR (Trout Stamp and Conservation Aids), local conservation clubs, Trout Unlimited, US-Fish and Wildlife Service, Buffalo County, and some private donations.
Local FFA Chapters, 4-H Clubs and Boy Scouts have provided labor for some of these projects also.
Trout Unlimited has been instrumental in guiding clubs and local conservation personnel as to what sources are available and how to apply or request these funds. What everyone has learned is that by partnering, many tasks can be accomplished. Not to mention, improved cold water fisheries and more fishing opportunities.
Many of these sites also include habitat work for other aquatic species,
Many of these sites also include habitat work for other aquatic species, such as snake hibernaculum and turtle hibernaculum.
Upon completion of these projects, there has been a renewed interest in trout fishing in Buffalo County. We have also worked together to have a Trout Day for four consecutive years at a different location each year. The purpose is to encourage children to participate in fishing and showcase the projects that everyone has produced. All participants get a free lunch, and all kids go home with a prize. Along with fly fishing demonstrations, fly tying, electrofishing, and discussion of future projects, this event has been a success averaging about 75 participants each year.
Buffalo County Land Conservation Department has initiated and sustained a stream monitoring program
Along with habitat work, Buffalo County Land Conservation Department has initiated and sustained a stream monitoring program in Buffalo County. Volunteers in the community accomplish this and provide data that is recorded to monitor water quality on a given stream. Currently, Buffalo County is soliciting more volunteers to gather more data on some currently unmonitored streams.
In August 2016, a major rainstorm engulfed a large part of Buffalo County that produced 8 to 11 inches of rain in an overnight event. Many discussions in the county were about how the “trout stream work held up to the storm.” These sites were slightly affected, if any, by this major rainstorm and this has created further interest in “getting one of those projects on my farm.”
In summary, Buffalo County has many partners making these projects a success. Trout Unlimited involvement has played a significant role on the road to successful Buffalo County Stream Habitat project.