2013 National Meeting Conservation Tour

(Photo Credit: Wolfgang Hoffman)

Some of the Midwest's most picturesque landscapes and outstanding spring creeks will be featured on our September 26 Conservation Tour. Limestone ridges and pastoral valleys flank over 4,000 miles of trout streams across the 24,000-square mile unglaciated region known as the "Driftless Area". Flanking the Mississippi River and lying in Southwest Wisconsin, Southeast Minnesota and Northeast Iowa, this lovely country will be cloaked in autumn colors at the time of our visit.

This day-long trip will focus on three notable restoration sites within a comfortable chartered bus ride of the Convention Center site. One is a section of Black Earth Creek, noted as one of "America's 100 Best Trout Streams", where an old impoundment was bypassed in 2012 and stream meanders and habitat restored. Others also will feature native prairie restoration, non-game habitat, extensive stream monitoring programs, and other innovative watershed restoration features. As we travel, experts on the buses will share their knowledge of the region's geology, history, resource challenges, fisheries and TU's Driftless Area Restoration Effort (DARE), one of our organization's most ambitious watershed programs.

In late summer 2012, an old dam was breached and Black Earth Creek again flowed into its restored historic meander patterns. (DCNHF photo)

Participants can expect some gentle walking, no more than ΒΌ mile, and with advance notice we can provide on-site transportation for those for whom walking is a challenge. Rest rooms will be located on the buses and at some tour stops. Participants should wear comfortable walking shoes and consider that rain can fall in our area in late September, that morning temperatures might be in the 40s and daytime temperatures from 50s to 70s.

The expert "Creek Cooks" of Southeast Wisconsin Trout Unlimited are known across the region for the bratwurst feeds they put on at stream project work days. They will be on hand at one of our stops, hauling their trailer full of cooking gear, to showcase their outdoor cooking skills and provide us with a first-rate lunch.

Departure time is expected to be about 7:30 a.m. and return time by 5:30 p.m.

An angler plies his craft on an autumn day on a restored Driftless Spring Creek. (Photo Credit: Duke Welter)

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