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…

Read More

It’s all about the bees

Washington Conservation District recognizes Pam Arnold & Laurie Schneider for their conservation efforts The bee is a curious ambassador for the Earth. They are little. They sting. They tiptoe across flowers on insect legs, waving insect antenna, and peering out at the world through kaleidoscoped insect eyes. The females do all of the work, and…

Read More

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…

Read More

Stepping off the beaten path and into Mooer’s Park charm

For a big river, the Mississippi can be awfully hard to find. Though it traverses 21 miles of Washington County, from the City of Newport to the St. Croix River confluence in Hastings-Prescott, there are precious few places to access the water as it flows. To find the river here requires a road map and…

Read More

Putting Down Roots in the Prairie

The roots of the leadplant chart a course toward the center of the earth. Thirsty and longing for stability, they branch, spread and burrow further and further into the soil. Encountering a rock or a flat pan of clay, they will pause, turn, and then continue their travels laterally. In sandy soils, where rainwater is…

Read More

Keeping the fish happy in 10,000 lakes

“What percentage of walleyes caught in Minnesota are born wild?” asks DNR Fisheries Chief Don Pereira, as he looks around a room filled with lake association members from Chisago and Washington Counties. A few folks call out numbers – 10%? Maybe 20%? “People talk a lot about fish stocking,” Pereira continues, “but 85% of the…

Read More

Minnesota DNR State Fisheries Chief to speak at Chisago & Washington Lakes Meeting – Thursday, May 17, 6-8pm at Forest Lake City Hall

Should anglers be allowed to keep walleye from Mille Lacs? Should trout be stocked in Square Lake? Are there enough local places to fish for muskies? Fishing in Minnesota is a time-honored tradition and a money-maker that generates roughly $2.4 billion in spending each year. Even so, Minnesotans don’t always agree on how to manage…

Read More

Planting a Monarch Mile, or Two

In Washington County, local partners have added nearly 20 acres of new pollinator plantings in the past two years, with 25 additional acres coming this year.

Read More

Protecting Pollinators – What’s the Latest Buzz?

There are 250 native bee species in Minnesota and 140 species of butterflies.

Read More

Turtle Tunnel Provides a Rare Glimpse Into the Secret Lives of Wildlife

Northern Washington County, including Big Marine Park Reserve, contains this special mix of habitat types and, therefore, is one of the few places in the state where Blanding’s turtles still roam.

Read More