Reforestation/Recovery Era

After years of treating the symptom of reduced trout numbers by stocking more trout, the Wisconsin Conservation Department proposed an experimental habitat improvement of a section of the Namekagon River for trout populations.  In 1961, the agency coordinated the experimental restoration project, hiring a contractor to perform the work using a dragline.  The locations of the projects were in Sawyer County, Section 20, T42N, R8W and Bayfield County, Sections 20 & 21, T43N, R7W.  The Sawyer County project is described in a 1961 intra-department memorandum:

“The stream in the experimental area flows almost straight.  At the upper end of the section a single wing deflector was installed.  This wing extends across almost three-fourths of the width of the river, leaving a channel 35 feet wide.  It is constructed by scooping up the bottom materials and depositing them for the wing.  The wing is eight feet wide at the top and is 18 inches above water level.  The channel at the end of the wing is now three feet deep, with a water velocity of about 1.7 feet per second.  It flows parallel to the other bank and provides good cover.  Immediately below this single wing an island was created in the middle of the stream.  The island is approximately 30 feet in diameter. It was shored up with cedar poles on the upstream side to prevent erosion.  This splits the current, with a good flow and a deep channel on either side.  Below the island a second single wing was created. This reduces the channel to one-half the original width.  This again creates a two and one-half to three foot depth channel.  Finally, below the second wing, a third single wing was installed.  This wing again reduces the channel to half the original width.  In addition, a pile of partly submerged boulders were placed off the end of the wing to create cover and break up the uniform bottom.” 

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