Sunday, May 11, 2008

La Crosse

Bill, taking the path he's driven to many great weekends of fishing in southeast Minnesota and Southwest Wisconsin, piloted the rig from Minneapolis to La Crosse, WI. Fin, Nate and Bill spent the afternoon on the mighty Mississippi. No salmon swim in up these waters, but Fin sure does appreciate a great river when she sees one. A great moment was when an icon of the Mississippi, a paddlewheel steamer came by to get a good look at an icon of the Snake/Columbia (namely, Fin).

A few people asked us, why are you in Wisconsin? Wisconsin has a great history of watershed conservation. Take Coon Creek, just south of La Crosse as an example. In the 1930's the watershed was chosen as a pilot project to reduce soil erosion and increase farming yields. Prior to the program, Coon Creek, after decades of poor farming practices was subject massive flooding, and lost most of the native Brook Trout. After introduction of contour farming, reforestation, and better pasture and grazing practices, not only did farmers benefit from increased yields, but Coon Creek was restored into a great trout stream that today is a destination for anglers from across the region.

It is in the spirit of this kind of success story, that is both good for farmers and good for fish, that drew the Road Show to Wisconsin. Indeed, while Bill, Nate and Fin were on the River for a few hours, Joseph, who rejoined the Road Show in Minneapolis, was meeting with Rep. Kind's staff. Rep. Kind has carried on the Wisconsin's proud conservation tradition, and we here at SOS hope that he can be a leader to find similar long-term solutions for the farmers and the fish of the Snake River watershed.

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