SWMTU is proud to report that the chapter has been awarded a 2021 Embrace-A-Stream grant from national Trout Unlimited. The $2,100 grant will go toward the Coldwater River Monitoring Project, specifically to cover the cost of temperature loggers placed in the river.
The temperature loggers are just one part of a large-scale, two-year plan designed to gather data and mitigate known areas of concern on the Coldwater River.
The goal of the Coldwater River Monitoring Project is to increase the quality and quantity of the trout population in the Coldwater River. This includes temperature monitoring, habitat mapping, stream substrate testing, fish shocking and measurement, map spot erosion, and identifying log jams causing temperature increases and sedimentation. The genesis for this specific project is rooted in the Coldwater Watershed Management Plan, a highly detailed document that identifies many problems and opportunities in the river.
Through financial donations and hard work, SWMTU has been able to restore many miles of trout habitat — turning what was a drainage ditch into a productive stream for brown, rainbow, and brook trout.
Sadly in 2015, the river suffered a major setback. A drain commission project removed the trees and ground cover from over seven miles of stream frontage, creating major issues for erosion and stream temperature.
When SMWTU and others learned of the rogue activity, the work stopped and lawsuits ensued.
In response to this disaster, SWMTU helped raise more than $10,000 in 2018 including an Embrace-A-Stream grant to improve the flow of the river, create fish habitat, and create spawning gravel beds.
While that project was a huge success, the river needs more help. It’s threatened by a loss of tree cover, occasional manure spills from nearby fields, and log jams that decrease flow and raise temperatures.
We’re Off to a Good Start
The $2,100 grant from national Trout Unlimited is a great start and we greatly appreciate the contribution.
But More Funds are Needed
SWMTU put together a two-year plan that includes detailed habitat mapping, fish surveys, macroinvertebrate surveys, and in-stream work to collect data and start restoring the damage that happened since 2015.
Between November 8-14, 2021, SWMTU will participate in the Embrace-A-Stream Challenge backed by Trout Unlimited and Orvis. During this campaign, Orvis will match your contributions dollar-for-dollar up to $1,000 toward the chapter.