July 15 – Work Project #3 Summary & Pics

The following work project summary was provided by WI DNR’s Taylor Curran…

Evergreen Creek Trout Habitat Workday- July 15, 2023:

On Saturday July 15th, 2023, members from Antigo, Green Bay, Oconto River, and Coulee Region Trout Unlimited Chapters along with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Antigo Staff, installed seventeen brush bundles in Evergreen Creek. Originally only fifteen brush bundles were planned to be installed but with the awesome turn out, we were able to add two additional bundles. The bundles covered 936 feet of stream. This was the third year of the ongoing brush bundling project on Evergreen Creek. To date, 3,450 feet of stream have been brush bundled. The goal of the project is to bundle from the upstream end of the state fish property down to the confluence of Evergreen Creek and the Evergreen River. With the additional bundles installed on the workday, there is only 300 feet remaining. In the coming, weeks WDNR staff partially funded by Trout Unlimited Chapters from the Northeast Region will bundle the last section of Evergreen Creek.

About Brush Bundling:

Brush bundling is often done in wide and shallow sections of streams that have soft stream beds mainly composed of sand and/or silt. This project utilized cut materials from brushing and recycled Christmas trees donated from the City of Antigo and City of Merrill to create bundles. These bundles were placed on inside bends. The purpose of the bundles is to narrow, deepen, concentrate stream flow, and re-meander the stream channel. The bundles will capture soft sediments and over time create a new bank that will eventually vegetate. This will allow the stream to flush sand and silt, exposing spawning gravel, all helping to maintain cold water temperatures.

Facts About Evergreen Creek:

Evergreen Creek is a class 1 trout stream that has populations of naturally reproducing native brook trout (Salvilinus frontinalis) and naturalized brown trout (Salmo trutta). Silt, sand, and gravel make up much of the stream substrate within the project area. The head waters of Evergreen Creek are composed of lowland drainages along with a series of spring ponds: Lost, Stillhouse, Long, Galyan and two unnamed spring ponds. Evergreen Creek flows southeasterly through the town of Evergreen and the town of Wolf River where it joins with the Evergreen River in southeastern Langlade County. In 2019, Wisconsin DNR started making improvements to the Evergreen Creek watershed which includes: culvert replacements on the outlet of Long Springs, completed dredging of Stillhouse Springs, in progress dredging of Lost Springs and plans to dredge Long Springs. Evergreen Creek and Evergreen River are important cold-water tributaries providing cold water and thermal refugees to the Wolf River. A pre-habitat survey was conducted in the upper 1200 feet of the project. In this survey section there was an estimated 736 brook trout and 293 brown trout per mile found.  

For more information about this project or other trout habitat related projects in Lincoln and Langlade counties please contact Taylor Curran at 608-509-5496 or [email protected]

Thank you for all you do for our coldwater resources !!