Location: Winona County, MN
Contact: Win-Cres Chapter
Rush Creek Project in Progress
The Rush Creek project is not a completed project, but the initial installation occurred in September 2018.
Because trout habitat work is done in areas at the edge of streams where flows rise and fall frequently and unpredictably, and where flooding over the banks is not uncommon, projects remain very vulnerable to erosion until riparian vegetation becomes well established. It typically takes two full growing seasons or more after the year of the initial installation for the growth of adequate vegetation root mass. Since some erosion and settling of soil is almost inevitable these first couple years, our contracts with both the design firm and the construction contractor require they periodically inspect and repair the project site for two full years after the year of installation. In the case of Rush Creek, inspection and repairs will made as needed through October 2020.
The Rush Creek project sustained damage from a large flood this spring (2019). DNR estimated that 10-15% of the project site was impacted, but the project is very repairable and will be repaired as soon as permit amendments can be secured. The fact that there had been no opportunity to get vegetation established last fall accounted for a fair amount of the damage. However, the flood also revealed where some design (and permit) changes are needed. MNTU is taking a very serious look at the permitted design for this and other projects. MNTU is seeking greater flexibility from DNR regulators to use methods and materials appropriate to the energy in highly disturbed and degraded systems such as Rush Creek.