Cleaning the shores of the Vermillion River

Volunteers needed for Trout Unlimited project March 5

The Department of Natural Resources set fire to piles of buckthorn and other invasive species along the shores of the Vermillion River earlier this year. Trout Unlimited is looking for volunteers to help clear more of the plants on March 5. (Photo by Andy Rogers)
The Department of Natural Resources set fire to piles of buckthorn and other invasive species along the shores of the Vermillion River earlier this year. Trout Unlimited is looking for volunteers to help clear more of the plants on March 5. (Photo by Andy Rogers)

Twin Cities chapter of Trout Unlimited is looking for volunteers to help with shore restoration work from 9 a.m. to noon March 5 along the Vermillion River south branch east of Farmington.

Volunteers will be asked to help clear buckthorn, honeysuckle and other invasive plant species choking the banks of the trout stream next to 4758 200th St. E. in Farmington.

The brush is degrading habitat for the fish and the wildlife, according to Dan Callahan of Minnesota Trout Unlimited.

“We’ll cut and drag brush into big piles for the Department of Natural Resources to burn next winter, so dress to get muddy,” Callahan said.

Volunteers should bring hiking or knee boots; work gloves; tree loppers or hand saws; and a few people could bring waders. They also need a few expert chain saw operators with proper training and gear.

The hope is restoring the shore will provide better fishing access.

Once it’s completed, Trout Unlimited plans to restoring the native prairie and stabilize eroding banks, which will improve water quality and wildlife habitat by preventing dirt from washing into the stream and filtering polluted runoff.

Everyone from the community is welcome, including families, school groups, community groups, Trout Unlimited members and nonmembers.

Trout Unlimited will provide lunch, so participants should RSVP to dan@twincitiestu.org for an accurate head count.

For those interested in helping with lunch, reply to Tony Nelson at Tony@1igprint.com or call 952-486-2282.

There are seven chapters of the nonprofit conservation group Trout Unlimited in Minnesota, all run by volunteers.

“We’ve restored habitat on more than 40 miles of trout streams across the state, including 3 miles of the Vermillion River in Dakota County, which runs through Lakeville and Farmington to Hastings and the Mississippi River,” Callahan said.

For information about the Vermillion Riverkeepers volunteer day on March 5, visit www.twincitiestu.org.