Frederic – Last summer Department of Natural Resources fisheries staff completed an extensive stream habitat restoration project on McKenzie Creek in north central Polk County east of Frederic. A similar project takes place on the Clam River this year.
“The goal of these projects are to improve habitat for large brown trout by increasing pool area and overhead cover” said Heath Benike, DNR fisheries biologist, “and this increases more trout per mile of stream for the benefit of the angler.”
The work involves adding bank cover structures and boulder clusters. Spawning areas are also enhanced including several miles of streambank brushing.
Anyone wanting to view the completed work on McKenzie creek should go east of Frederic on Polk County Highway W, then north on McKenzie Trail before crossing McKenzie Creek. Travel northward on McKenzie Trail for approximately a quarter of a mile and several gated access roads lead downhill to McKenzie Creek.
The projects are paid for courtesy of state trout stamp monies used only for habitat and spring pond improvements, Benike said. Such investments pay big dividends in angler recreation for years, he said.