MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A team of northern Minnesota researchers is evaluating the results of millions of dollars of major restoration work on dozens of trout streams across the state in the last decade.
In addition to finding out whether trout have returned, the state needs to know if realigning creeks has upset their natural connection with groundwater or if it has unintentionally made some problems worse, said Valerie Brady, aquatic ecologist for the University of Minnesota Duluth Natural Resources Research Institute.
“When you do these big, earth-moving type projects, you stand the chance that it can really muck up that stream’s connectivity with the groundwater,” Brady said.
Erosion is the root problem forcing major restorations. More streams will be realigned in the coming years as they continue to wash away land near homes, roads, bridges and businesses, the Star Tribune reported.
The work will be funded from the state’s Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund. The group will focus on up to seven streams near Duluth and in the Arrowhead region, but hasn’t selected them yet. The project will take about four years to complete.