Oconto River Watershed Chapter of Trout Unlimited
See Album for DNR Surveys reports on South Branch Oconto River.
May 18 Stream Project
On Saturday May 18th, 20 enthusiastic volunteers gathered to make improvements to the First South Branch of Oconto at the Barrier Free area off County T in Oconto County. At the site the group split into two crews, one worked upstream and the other went down stream. The water was a little high but not to high as some workers worked directly in the stream. Each crew did brush clearing of tag alders for fishability along with brush bundles and log tie downs at stream bank.
After the work project at roughly 12:30pm the Wolf River chapter provided lunch for all participants and if you wish you could stay afterward for Meet and Greet Fish Along in the afternoon.
Connecting Coldwater in Northern Wisconsin and the Oconto River Watershed
The Northeast Region Chapters of Trout Unlimited met in December with WDNR Water restoration group and pledged $45,800 for 2019 projects. Chapter donating money were Antigo, Green Bay, Marinette, Northwoods, Oconto River, Wild Rivers, and Wolf River. The funding included:
•$17,500 to the DNR’s Antigo office to fund a two-person crew and fuel for dredging spring ponds. •$15,000 to the DNR’s Lakewood office to fund a two-person habitat crew. •$6,000 to the U.S. Forest Service supporting a fisheries technician. •$5,000 toward the Great Lakes Stream Restoration Initiative. •$2,300 to the DNR’s Peshtigo office to fund a water temperature monitor on Oconto River.
These funds are in addition to the normal DNR location state budgets. The funds assist the payment of LTE’s (limited time employees for the summer) who are now able to work a full summer to get more projects completed than planned in normal budget. Oconto River Chapter donated $5,000 for 2019 projects. The money will be used to improve habitat on several trout streams across norther Wisconsin. Streams will be brushed to improve fishability and beaver control will continue. Two more spring ponds will be dredged and the barrier-free platforms on the South Branch Oconto will be repaired/replaced.
We team with other NE Wisconsin Region TU Chapters to preform four in-stream work projects. The projects are held in the morning on the 3rd Saturday of May, June, July and August. The public is welcome to join us. Great way to find new access areas to streams and good fishing. Check web site for meeting locations.
The Chapter also provide financial assistance for operation of NOCTA – Lakewood Hatchery.
August 17th – Last Chapter Habitat Project 2019
We will return to the Evergreen River above the Menominee Reservation for some final touches. This section of the Evergreen had 1.7 miles extensive work conducted on it from 2009-2014. Worked included dig and pile channel shaping with a hydraulic excavator, large wood additions and brush bundling. Most of the brush bundling was completed in the summers of 2012 and 2014. This section could use some final touches in the brush bundling area.
The workday will focus on finishing up the remaining work from the June workday. Most of the work will consist of brushing the stream and jetting, anchoring and cabling large wood into the stream bed. The wood will consist of logs and root wads. With the recent storms up in this area several of the walking trails may also need some cleanup. This will be a great opportunity to check out the work from the June workday!
We will plan on meeting at the Langlade Ranger Station at 8:30am (sharp) to caravan or carpool as we did the last time we work on the Evergreen in June. This project we may only work from 9-11am? This is dependent upon participation and workload. As always, please try to contact me in advance if you are planning to attend so we can plan for lunch.
2020 Trout Stocking
Along with the financial assistance from the Oconto County Sportsmen Alliance, Underhill Sportsmen, Breed Sportsmen, and Suring Sportsmen and various others, our Chapter was able to stock some $3,100 of legal size browns and rainbows into a stretch of the Oconto that has less than ideal cold water potential. The residents (especially the kids) that reside in the river communities from Suring, Hintz, Underhill, Pulcifer and further down to the BB Bridge south of Gillett have been afforded a trout fishing opportunity. They are thrilled to catch a 14+ inch rainbow or a 12+ inch brown trout that they will remember for the rest of their life. Whether that fish is returned to the river as a catch and release or is taken home to be cooked as a family meal,
the experience is priceless.
On Wednesday May 6th, the hatchery truck from Silver Moon Springs met a large group of volunteers at the Park in Suring. Fish were transported to the main part of the Oconto River where they would feel the current flowing by. Thanks to Lyman, Joe, Bruce, Tom, Bob, Jane, Sam and others that helped with the effort. A similar event took place at each public community landing as the “trout truck” made its way south to Hintz (where a big crew of bridge builders was on hand), Underhill, and then Pulcifer.
The Chapter would like to thank those clubs and individuals that contributed to this project. It has been one of the most appreciated and most popular of all the many things the Oconto River Chapter participates in.
Public Lands Month
Trout Unlimited celebrates Public Lands Month (PLM) this September. With National Hunting and Fishing Day and National Public Lands Day both occurring in September, the month is tailor-made to reflect on the impact of public lands to reinforce the future of the lands we love.
This year, we will dig deep into the history of our public lands, work toward building a diverse community of public land advocates, and partner with artists to highlight awe-inspiring landscapes. We will also provide encouragement to connect with your local public lands and protect open spaces nationwide so that they can continue to provide quality fish and wildlife habitat, drinking water, livelihoods and recreation for all Americans.
Chapters and councils are encouraged to share PLM content with members, organize virtual PLM events or discussions and consider other creative means of highlighting the history, policies and future of public lands in your community.
Send Chapter email of an idea to consider for a project about our Oconto County public lands.