Thursday, September 12, 2013

Menomonee River Restoration Is Underway

It's been talked about for a few years now, but actions speak louder than words.  I've visited the stretch a few times since the machinery has breached the wall and moved earth.  It's pretty insane to think about the amount of water that has to be moved to get to the concrete beneath it, and I always wondered how it was done.

The workers constructed a makeshift dam with boulders, gravel, and a thick plastic sheet above the section of the river to be restored.  A powerful pump was placed in the pool above the dam to move the water through a pretty large pipe.  I'd say 30 inches in diameter.

The water is pumped through the thousand foot pipe to a point below where the restoration is occurring.  A similar pipe is constructed on the opposite bank, so when the south bank is complete, the pipe is detached and connected to the pipe on the north bank.

I'm not sure what will happen to the salmon run this fall during the restorations.  It appears the water is only pumped through the pipe when the crews are actually working, so fish will still be able to swim through at night and during the weekend.

On another note, I've finally caught fish on dry flies in the Menomonee, unlocking another Menomonee River achievement.  I was walking through the concrete section with my little girl, and I had my fly rod just in case I saw some fish.

My Little Cleo loves smelling flowers

I started to see some fish rising, so I tied on a tiny little Elk Hair Caddis and made a cast, hoping for a bluegill.  It took a few casts before I finally got a take.  It was a common shiner, I believe. Some sort of minnow that's for sure.  It was fun, and I caught a few more.

She loves to pet fish

I found a spot above the concrete where I can catch green sunfish pretty consistently.  It's so close to home; any time I get the itch I can walk down to the river and catch fish.

Be careful of the spines!

I'm sure ready to see some salmon in the streams here in Milwaukee, are you?  I hope to see you out there.