May 8th – Work Project Summary and Pictures

GBTU’s first work project of the 2021 season was held on Saturday May 8th. We worked on the Prairie River.

In 2020 the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WIDNR) created 9 “point bars” and 2 islands on this particular stretch of the Prairie using sediment from the river bottom and offshore (if you click on the Point Bar link below, you can see exactly were they were placed). The purpose of the point bars and islands is to improve the meandering and narrowing of the river.

Now, in 2021, it was time to stabilize these areas with trees.

The WIDNR provided over 1000 trees to plant. Yes…over 1000 (I was sure it was a typo when I first read it). They consisted of White Pines, Silver Maple and River Birch. Each point bar/island was designated a certain combination of trees. They were counted out, separated and placed in buckets to be hauled to each location.

During the actual planting phase volunteers were asked to keep the trees a certain distance from the water, a minimum distance from each other, not to plant them in rows and to make sure to mix-up the different species. It is important that the trees stabilize these areas but also that it looks natural. Holes were dug with “tree spuds.” When placing the young trees in holes TU members were careful not to j-root them and to make sure the holes did not have to much air in them.

There were 20 TU volunteers that made the project as well as 2 members of the WIDNR Fisheries Department. TU attendees included…Terry Cummings and John Zatopa from the Northwoods Chapter; Mitchell Bent of the Antigo Chapter; Pat Esselman, John Meachen, Robert Pankratz, Wayne Czypinki, Linda Lehmann, Peter Stromme, Perry Nikolai, Paul Dedo, Pter Weinschenck, Carl Carrillo and Nate Gruber of the Wisconsin Rivers Chapter and, finally…Wally Heil, Harold Becks, Pat Hill, Jeff House, Paul Kruse and Adrian Meseberg of the the Green Bay Chapter. Taylor Curran and Jake Fronk from the WIDNR rounded out the group.

A huge thanks goes out to GBTU Work Project Chair Paul Kruse and the WIDNR’s Taylor Curran for coordinating the work day. Another big thanks to all the volunteers who helped make it a success. It wasn’t a typo…it was 1000+ trees…and we planted them all !!



Below is a little bit about the Prairie River…

The Prairie runs through Lincoln and Langlade Counties. It has been featured in the book “Wisconsin’s Blue-Ribbon Trout Streams” (Halla, 2001). Author Chris Halla says…”The Prairie River offers anglers 42 miles of Class I and II trout water. The Prairie’s multiple personalities make it one of those rivers that offers something to suit pretty much anyone’s and everyone’s tastes.” Perhaps the Prairie River’s biggest fishing claim-to-fame is it is where the Wisconsin state record brook trout was caught !


Halla, Chris. (2001). Wisconsin Blue-Ribbon Trout Streams. Portland, OR: Frank Amato Publications, Inc.

Check out the May 8th work project pictures below…

A beautiful sunrise greeted our arrival to the work project
It was a bit of a drive but we made it !
WIDNR’s Taylor Curran and Jake Fronk separating trees into buckets for transport
Each bucket contains a certain number of White Pine, Silver Maple and River Birch trees for each Point Bar/Island
Time to find our specific work areas
Point Bar 6…looks like we can begin !
After opening holes, trees are placed inside and covered…making sure not to j-root trees or leave to much air inside hole
Look at all those little trees…nice !!
TU volunteers working in the distance
GBTU work project regulars…Paul Kruse, Jeff House and Harold Becks
GBTU Work Project Coordinator, Paul Kruse and WIDNR Fisheries Taylor Curran look very pleased with our efforts
If you haven’t been to the Prairie River before, you should check it out…it is gorgeous !!