A TU/DNR partnership improving coldwater fisheries
Trout Transfers – A TU/DNR partnership improving coldwater fisheries
The Clear Waters Chapter of Trout Unlimited helped make trout fishing better in the greater Eau Claire area by funding trout transfer projects on local trout streams. Since 2013, the Clear Waters Chapter has provided annual funding to complete transfer projects on Elk Creek and Duncan Creek. In certain reaches, trout densities were high (3,000-6,000 fish/mile) and size structure was poor. With the goal of improving trout size structure, trout were transferred from areas of high density to locations further downstream in the watershed where natural reproduction is limited and densities are low. In both creeks only moderate size fish were transferred, leaving the young-of-year fish to repopulate the stream and the adult fish to grow to a larger size. Each year between 500 and 1,000 fish was transferred in each stream. Has the project been successful? At the removal sites, the density of brook trout over 12” increased in Duncan Creek and density of brown trout over 14” increased in Elk Creek. At the transfer locations further downstream, densities are increasing as well creating better fisheries than before. All in all, the funding that the Clear Waters Chapter provided has enabled the DNR to conduct a unique project that has produced bigger trout in our local waters.