Volunteers remove buckthorn on Vermillion River

Volunteers from the Vermillion Riverkeepers, a nonprofit Minnesota Trout Unlimited conservation group, worked with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on March 4 to remove almost 2 acres of invasive, non-native buckthorn brush from the South Branch of the Vermillion River State Aquatic Management Area, east of Farmington.

To help raise money for its stream restoration work, and watershed education programs in local schools, Minnesota Trout Unlimited is sponsoring the Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo March 17-19 at Hamline University in St. Paul. More than three dozen presentations on fly fishing are included in the ticket price, plus fly casting lessons on Hamline University’s pool. There is also a separate Fly Fishing Film and Video Showcase event on March 18.

For more information about the Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo, visit www.greatwatersflyexpo.com.

Right now there are 7,000 little trout swimming in 17 Minnesota classrooms, as part of Minnesota Trout Unlimited’s watershed education program, which includes Lakeville South High School.

The students raised their fish from eggs in special coldwater aquariums. The students study fish biology and water chemistry, and take field trips to learn about streams and how land use affects water quality. Minnesota Trout Unlimited’s education program is designed to help students connect with watersheds through hands-on learning.

The program is supported by a grant from the state of Minnesota’s Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, and is supported with the help of many local volunteers and community donations.

In May, students from Lakeville South and the other metro schools will release their rainbow trout in the Vermillion River in Farmington.

Learn more about supporting the watershed education program, volunteering on stream restoration projects, and learning about fly fishing at www.mntu.org.