Ash Creek

On April 1, 2006, fifteen dedicated SEWTU volunteers traveled over two hours to aid the Ocooch Creeks Chapter (based out of Richland Center, Wisconsin) with a workday at Ash Creek.  Ash Creek is a brook trout targeted stream restoration located approximately 5 miles south of Richland Center.


Located in a scenic valley inside the heart of Wisconsin's "Driftless Area," Ash Creek is home to a thriving brook trout population.    So good, in fact, that local Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource stocking efforts utilize brook trout stock obtained from Ash Creek.  The Ocooch Creeks Chapter, in conjunction with the Richland County Land Conservation Department, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, had previously performed exceptional restoration work at the site.


As is often the case in the Driftless Area, however, willow chutes had encroached into the stream's previously restored riparian area, creating the potential for unwanted tree-canopy cover.  Worse yet, some of the encroaching willow chutes had been used by beaver to create a dam, impairing streamflow.


In conjunction with the Ocooch Creeks Chapter, SEWTU volunteers removed the offending beaver dam, and -- having split up into three separate work groups -- removed and treated hundreds, if not thousdands, of willow saplings. 


The day was a complete success in that SEWTU mobilized a large number of dedicated volunteers, and provided stream work in an area where many of our members fish -- namley, the Driftless Area.  Additionally, a good relationship was established with the Ocooch Creeks Chapter, and we have since engaged in other workdays with that group.  Finally, the Ocooch Creeks Chapter provided an excellent bratwurst lunch (prepared by Dick Peters and his family, of Ocooch Creeks), and even shared some secret fishing hole information.