September 26, 2019:
Welcome Back to the NTC’s The Voice of the Driftless. By Jeffrey S. Broberg
Once again narrow bands of heavy rainfall spread across much of the Driftless making many streams too muddy to fish this weekend. It seems that week after week I am writing the same report…Groundhogs Day in September!
For the best prospects this week in SE Mn the streams in Wabasha County, Northern Winona County and Northern Fillmore County will have clear water and The South Branch Whitewater, Trout Run, Rush, etc. will be clearing and you might find really hungry fish there.
I was not able to get out fishing this week (mostly because I have been loading up on the fall mushrooms…YUM), but I have been hearing the typical late fall fishing stories of big fat trout cruising the gravel riffles looking for a home to build redds and spawn. This is the time of year that the spawning trout start to get territorial and to aggressively protect their territory.
At this time of year for a spin fisherman like me it works for me to throw lures that that would most offend a large female trout…crawfish, larger jointed minnows, often times bright colors will really make the trout attack. The fly fishermen tell me they are still doing well on grasshoppers and ants, woolly buggers and streamers. A few are trying the mouse patterns again and always report an exciting time when they attract these aggressive trout.
Next week I will report on the final precipitation data for the 2019 Water Year Oct 1, 2018-September 30, 2019. You will see why trout fishing has been off and clean water has been so hard to find this year.
Citizen Science to Monitor Our Streams
The NTC is teamed up with Winona State University and the Izaak Walton League (Ikes) to help develop teams of interested people to help the WSU Scientists monitor our streams. We are jointly offering a free stream monitoring training and certification program where WSU provides a half day of class room training on monitoring physical, chemical and biological measures in our rivers and streams. We have an introduction meeting for interested parties this Sunday Sept 29 at 2PM at the Visitor Center at Whitewater State Park (Park sticker or visitor pass is required) and the training program is free and appropriate for teens and adults and will be held at the NTC facility in Preston on the morning and early afternoon of October 26, 2019
If you complete the training you can be certified as a “Save our Streams” Citizen Scientist and be given a Certificate, reference materials and a password to enter any data that you collect and enter into the national data base can be used by scientists and regulators as they continue to assess the water quality and ecology of our waters. Go to the Save our Streams site to learn more: https://www.iwla.org/conservation/water/save-our-streams
One of the main jobs of Citizen Scientists will be to do seasonal invertebrate monitoring of streams. To many people it is fun and interesting to identify the bugs that live in the streams tell how healthy a stream is and you get training on ID for the bugs that trout eat. The Ikes have a great 35-minute video on their Invert Training that give you of a taste of what you will learn.
If you want to expand your horizons and to help local stream scientists plan to take the training Oct 26.