July 18 – Work Project Summary and Pictures

On Saturday, July 18th eleven Trout Unlimited volunteers, United States Forestry Service (USFS), and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WI DNR) employees teamed up for some much needed fishability brushing on Spencer Creek in Forest County. Spencer Creek runs into the Rat River.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic we needed a work day where social distancing could be taken into account. Volunteers had to sign a Trout Unlimited Covid-19 release form and a USFS health form stating they do not have a fever and have not had contact with individuals with Coronavirus or individuals who were around others with Coronavirus. GBTU was not able to provide lunch as we typically do for work projects in accordance with CDC and Trout Unlimited National guidelines.

With that being said, Tom Moris of the USFS provided us with a work day that could be done with appropriate social distancing.

Everyone met at the Laona Ranger Station between 8:30a-9a. Here we signed the required paperwork and received instructions on what we were to expect. According to Tom the USFS “has not stopped field operations, ‘they’ have had to modify some aspects, but are out working and getting many good habitat projects done for both fish and wildlife.” From here we all drove through the long, windy National Forest roads to Spencer Creek.

Once at the sight, it was obvious why fishability brushing was needed. Tag Alders and Buckthorn had overgrown to the point where it was very difficult to get to most of the stream. Fishing it would be very difficult (you can see this in the pictures).

Three people operated the chainsaws. One or two people would be in the creek in order to pass the cut trees to the shoreline. We had a line of people passing the trees away from the creek. Tom had mentioned that some of the feedback the USFS had received from anglers was that cut trees be moved further away from the water then in the past. For this reason Tom wanted the cut trees passed 40-50 feet away from Spencer Creek. The work lasted until ~1p.

Despite the hot, muggy weather a fantastic job was done ! It was nice seeing familiar faces as well as a few new ones ! Check out the pictures below.

The Green Bay Trout Unlimited members who made the 1hr 45min trip up North (talk about commitment !) were Paul Kruse, Jim VandenBranden, Jeff House, Peter Tilleman, Chad Neta and Adrian Meseberg. The USFS was represented by Tom Moris, Eric and “another guy from the Park Falls Ranger Station (sorry I did not get his name).

A big “THANK YOU” to everyone involved !

The overgrowth on Spencer Creek was obvious. Fishing would have been very difficult.
Peter and Chad get into position to pass cut tress away from the water.
Time to fire up the chainsaws !
Nice work guys…we can actually see Spencer Creek !
Looks like a friendly game of tug-of-war 🙂
Jeff tries to help Paul find Pat.
Way to get the cut wood away from the creek Peter and Chad !
A nice log to provide cover for trout !
What a difference 11 individuals and three chainsaws can make !
Work Project Chair Paul Kruse smiles after a job well done !
Don’t try and hide Peter…we will see you at the next one 🙂