Editorial: People came together to make stocking Wolf Creek a reality

Published 9:15 am Saturday, August 24, 2019

Thursday’s announcement that Wolf Creek would be stocked with rainbow trout next year is just another example of people seeing a way to make Austin and the environment better and putting in the work to make sure it gets done.

In case you didn’t see, the Department of Natural Resources will stock 300 rainbow trout in Wolf Creek a couple days before the April 18, 2020,rout opener. Wolf Creek runs through Todd Park and offers over 8,000 feet of shoreline with easy access so the fishing experience could be second to none.

A couple weeks after the opener, the DNR will stock another 300 of the trout to bolster the numbers.

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The work began in 2017, when Cedar River Watershed District Technician James Fett saw the possibility of introducing trout to the stream. He followed those thoughts up with a temperature probe and found that conditions were right for trout to be sustained.

On Thursday, before the announcement in Todd Park, CRWD and DNR staff performed a habitat study to investigate further what may need to be done to ensure that the habitat surrounding Wolf Creek can continue to sustain long term the proper conditions for the trout.

The work that Fett, the CRWD and DNR put in to make this happen is highly commendable and adds just another facet to a community that continues growing toward being known as a destination in the state of Minnesota.

But while credit needs to be given to those people and organizations, landowners like Steve and Diane Persinger also have to be commended. The Persinger’s set aside 100 acres of land, that, through MN CREP, would be permanently maintained as native prairie and wetlands. This is important because these native grasses and wetlands help filter the water that flows into creeks and rivers like Wolf Creek. It also helps keep Wolf Creek cooler at temps that trout need to survive.

Without landowners like the Persinger’s, this process becomes a lot more difficult and just proves that to make this land and the city of Austin better, all parties need to be invested in change.

There are just so many good aspects to this news, from the environment to the outdoors recreation part of the equation to the economic windfall the community will enjoy as anglers visit our community.

It’s a positive step that we should all embrace as more and more eyes turn to Austin.