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Tuesday, January 30 • 9:00am - 9:20am
SYMPOSIA-10: Partnerships for Managing Wisconsin Trout Streams: Engagement, Trust and a Better Managed Resource

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AUTHORS. Matthew Mitro, Wisconsin DNR Fisheries Research; Jeff Hastings, Trout Unlimited Driftless Area Restoration Effort; Kent Johnson, Trout Unlimited Kiap-TU-Wish Chapter; Heidi Keuler, Fishers & Farmers Partnership Coordinator, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; John Lyons, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Nancy North, Watershed Leaders Network Lead & Principal, NewGround, Inc.; Rod Ofte, Wallace Center Pasture Project; Kirk Olson, Wisconsin DNR Fisheries Management; Jana Stewart, U.S. Geological Survey; Jordan Weeks, Wisconsin DNR Fisheries Management

ABSTRACT. An individual trout stream typically does not have a strict analog to a local lake organization that can work with state agencies to improve fisheries management of the stream. However, habitat and fisheries in trout streams at regional scales collectively benefit from collaboration among angling and conservation organizations, farmer-led watershed groups, and state and federal agencies. Here we present a review of such collaborative partnerships that work to protect and improve trout fisheries in Wisconsin streams. We find that these partnerships work by engaging anglers in trout conservation and citizen science; building trust among anglers, farmers and natural resource professionals; and exchanging expertise among all players. We present three examples of how collaborative efforts have benefitted fisheries, stream and watershed management: (1) Trout Unlimited and the TU Driftless Area Restoration Effort have used Wisconsin DNR and USGS models of stream temperature and fish distribution to engage stream restoration as a climate change adaptation strategy. A critical contribution has been the implementation of citizen-based monitoring of stream temperature and habitat response to restoration. (2) Rotational grazing in the Driftless Area has improved soil and water conservation, allowing farmers and fish to thrive in this region together. Grazing also provides needed maintenance to state-owned riparian areas to improve angler access while conserving habitat and supporting farmers. (3) Fishers & Farmers Fish Habitat Partnership brings together the agricultural community, anglers and resource agencies to build trust in working towards common conservation goals in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. Fishers & Farmers has also supported a Watershed Leaders Network to build local efforts to improve land use at the watershed scale. We illustrate these three collaborative efforts with examples from Wisconsin trout streams and watersheds to show the benefits to trout stream management and the challenges to expanding these efforts.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:00am - 9:20am CST