World Trout Grassroots Recipients – 2007
Trout Unlimited Driftless Area TUDARE – tu.org/driftless
The Midwest Driftless Area Restoration project is a geographically focused, locally driven, consensus based effort to protect, restore and enhance riparian and aquatic habitat that had been lost due to farming practices in the early 1900s. (Driftless refers to a lack of residual vegetation, rock and dirt that was not left behind by receding glaciers.) The Midwest Driftless Area Restoration Effort includes 24,000 square miles of southeastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa western Wisconsin and Northwestern Illinois. Hundreds of miles of once stable clean coldwater spring creeks were inundated with soil and fine sediments by the farming practices of the 1900s. In many areas, 12 to 15 feet of soil has accumulated in valley floors. Water quality has been degraded, stream temperatures have increased, stream habitat lost, and the natural hydrologic cycle has been altered, with flooding becoming more frequent and severe.
This effort includes a broad partnership of federal, state and local governments, local landowners, academic institutions, sportsmen and conservation groups including 15 chapters of Trout Unlimited. The goal is to restore watersheds, reduce erosion and pollution, benefit fish and their habitat, and expand recreational opportunities. Thus far, the partners have restored sections of approximately 60 streams. The rivers have responded quickly and extraordinarily well to straightforward techniques to control erosion, reconnect the floodplain and improve instream habitat.
Current efforts focus on building alliances with agencies and organizations in this region; developing and executing restoration projects; prioritizing watersheds in the region based on restoration potential and resource benefit, and developing a staged strategy for planning and implementation.
The Golden Project – californiagoldentrout.org, caltrout.org, fedflyfishers.org, tucalifornia.org
California’s state fish dazzles with its beauty. But hybridization with rainbow trout and degradation of habitat has dramatically impacted this pure strain of fish. Trout Unlimited, Cal Trout and the Federation of Fly Fishers are assisting the California Department of Fish and Game and US Forest Service in a collaborative effort to protect and restore the California golden trout. The coalition is taking a four prong approach to this effort. They first locate and identify pure strains of golden trout populations throughout the Sierra. Then they seek to remove non-native and predatory fish from golden trout waters, restore riparian habitat damaged by cattle grazing, and conduct public education and outreach.
California Golden Trout is seeking volunteers to participate in restoration and monitoring activities in the Inyo and Sequoia National Forests and Sequoia-Kings canyon national parks in Southern Sierra. Check out the website to volunteer.
We will continue to support the Greenback Restoration Project, the Penobscot River Restoration Group, the Friends of Wild Salmon, the Balkan Trout Restoration Group and the Yellowstone Park Foundation along with the new groups for 2007.