Lending a helping hand to Afton’s Trout Brook

South Washington Watershed District partners with Great River Greening and Vail Resorts A coldwater stream flows through the hills of Afton Alps and Afton State Park, bringing life to a valley in the woods. Over the past 150 years, Trout Brook has weathered the rise and fall of logging in region, decades of farming, and…

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Big change for a little lake

Watershed tour highlights projects on Shields Lake Once upon a time, a handsome prince ruled over the Kingdom of Bohemia. Within his family’s estates, Prince Schwarzenberg had elegant palaces, imposing castles, and 20,000 acres of carp ponds. The hardy fish were a symbol of opulent wealth and provided a steady source of delicious, nourishing food…

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In the battle against aquatic invasive species (AIS), key weapons include research, inspections & early detection

Last month, the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) announced nine new research projects scheduled to begin this summer. Included in the list are two projects aimed at controlling common carp – one to develop carp removal strategies that utilize social behaviors and one to explore a herpesvirus that could act as a potential…

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Long Lake “Water Critters” program offers intergenerational learning and an introduction to The Lakes at Stillwater

Wednesday, July 10, 6-7pm On the outdoor terrace of The Lodge, there is a large fire ring, a dozen oversized deck chairs, and a tranquil view of the wooded lake below. Standing on that terrace, you might think you were at a resort in northern Minnesota, or perhaps a hunting lodge in Montana. In reality,…

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Local school groups release baby trout into Brown’s Creek

“Put your hand over the cup so no one falls out!” Evan Griggs calls out as he leads a dozen 4th and 5th grade students through a tangle of trees to the edge of Brown’s Creek. The students, who hail from St. Jude’s of the Lake in Mahtomedi, have been raising rainbow trout in their…

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Put time on the water to good use this summer: Get free training to become a volunteer AIS Detector

“So much of Minnesota’s culture and recreation is based around the water and enjoying our lakes and rivers,” says Dan Larkin, an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist with the University of Minnesota. “And so, aquatic invasive species and other threats to those habitats really affect people personally.” Over the past ten years, the number of…

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Valley Creek flows clear on a cold midwinter’s night

As it spins through the galaxy in trajectory around the sun, the Earth leans on its axis, 23.5-degrees. That slightest lean means all the difference between warm summer days, sun on the back and toes in the soft, brown dirt – that and the cold bite of winter, frozen breath before your face and wind…

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Brown’s Creek fish hoping for a big chill

This is a story about trout. It’s also a story about local history, changing landscapes, and people trying to do the right thing. Somewhere in the wetland dappled landscape near the now-closed Withrow Elementary, water begins to gather and form a stream we now call Brown’s Creek. The stream flows through soggy fields in Grant…

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Mooneye, sturgeon and microplastics in trout

In the swiftly flowing waters of the St. Croix River, a federally endangered species of mussel called the spectaclecase shelters among boulders on patches of gravel and sand. It’s not easy to make babies when you’re spectaclecase. First, the male must release sperm into the river current, hopefully upstream of a lady mussel. If a…

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Aquatic life in Forest Lake – The good, the bad, and the ugly

It was a beautiful night for Arts in the Park; the air was cool, the storm clouds had passed, and a Beatles tribute band was rocking the pavilion. My Forest Lake friends – a damselfly larva and a crawling water beetle – were swimming to the beat of the music in a container full of…

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