by Tony Nelson
In the Fall of 2022, folks from the DNR, Dakota County Parks and Trout Unlimited did the initial stream walks to decide if we should do the next 3500 feet of Trout Brook, just below the original section, and then to do the initial design concept. This took a couple more walks including with eligible contractors from which we hired the contractor. We were to begin in July of 2023 but because of several delays we started in early September and finished in early October. We restored about 3500 feet of Trout Brook and added additional habitat features at the top and bottom of the original project (about 600 feet).
We also added a series of 16 rock dams on a part of the tributary that feeds into the main branch of Trout Brook to reduce the amount of sediment(about 40% of the total) flowing into Trout Brook. The main project involved some tree removal, mostly box elder, as well as stream narrowing (to about 14 feet) and placement of rock along both banks for stabilization as well as numerous rock riffles in the creek to create a pool/riffle/pool system and establishing prairie along each bank. We discovered a large colony of a threatened plant species called Snowy Campion along the banks which caused our delay. Through a series of procedures including partnering with the U of M Arboretum to collect the seeds and grow new plants for restoration to the park next Spring, we were able to complete the project and preserve what may be the largest colony of this plant in the country. Any future projects on this stream may well hinge upon our ability to protect this colony.
Below are "Before" and "After" photos, plus an access map. An additional note: the DNR has not yet added Trout Brook to the Winter season so wait until Spring to fish it!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.