Trout Streams in Winter

This project seeks to show avid trout fishers, agricultural education teachers, and visiting Future Farmers of America (FFA) students what species are capable of existing only within a narrow temperature range (called cold stenothermal species or CSS) are and how they and other citizen scientists can be involved in their conservation and related research.

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What is a trout stream?

Seems obvious, right? A stream with trout.

But it takes more than just flowing water to make a stream a trout stream. Trout need cold water to survive. Cooler water enables water to hold more oxygen. Forested areas along streams and rivers (known as riparian areas) provide shade and help to cool water. Such vegetated areas also help prevent erosion, filter pollutants, and provide food and shelter for fish and other aquatic organisms.  

Duluth, Minnesota, is home to 16 designated trout streams. Despite their challenges, North Shore streams have two things in their favor. First is their cool, northern, lake-moderated climate. Second is the deep-forest bank cover, which shades the streams and keeps them cool. These influences keep these streams just cool enough to support trout.

Project description

This project seeks to show avid trout fishers, agricultural education teachers, and visiting Future Farmers of America (FFA) students what species are capable of existing only within a narrow temperature range (called cold stenothermal species or CSS) are and how they and other citizen scientists can be involved in their conservation and related research. Our goal is to improve scientific understanding of cold stenothermal species (CSS) and their impact on Minnesota resources, and increase citizen opportunities to engage in scientific research. We hope to reach at least 100 participants through our workshops, and by using agricultural education teachers as a conduit to their classrooms, that initial reach should multiply.  At the conclusion of each workshop, we will ask participants to complete an evaluation questionnaire and follow-up by email with individual participants to determine their interest and resource needs to participate as citizen volunteers.  

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Why Minnesota Sea Grant?

This project supports Sea Grant's mission to enhance the practical use and conservation of coastal, marine and Great Lakes resources in order to create a sustainable economy and environment.

What have we done lately?

This project will develop and conduct three hands-on, interactive events intended to help us build human capital and demonstrate the importance of CSS in the winter sport fishing industry and to the health of trout streams. One event for members of Trout Unlimited Chapters in Minnesota and Wisconsin was held in St. Paul in February 2020. Two more workshops (virtual and/or in-person) are planned. 

February 2020 trout stream presentation flyer. Credit: Amy Schrank.

Participants & audience

This project's target audiences include avid trout fishers, agricultural education teachers, and visiting Future Farmers of America (FFA) students.

Funding

Support for this project is provided by a grant from the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment. 


Program Staff

Blond woman with mountains in the background
Fisheries and Aquaculture Extension Educator